Brisbane’s inability to keep young playmaker Tom Dearden highlights a wider problem within the club says a Broncos legend.
Brisbane’s inability to keep young playmaker Tom Dearden highlights a wider problem within the club according to one of the Broncos founding fathers.
The Broncos have stumbled to just one win this season under the guidance of Kevin Walters and will likely field just one player for the Maroons in this year’s State of Origin in Xavier Coates.
Barry Maranta, one of the Broncos founding fathers, believes the club’s problems stem from the grassroots level.
“Why have we got four guys who could play for NSW and just one who is a real chance of playing for Queensland? That, to me, is turning the Broncos upside down,” Maranta told the Courier-Mail.
“That wasn’t part of our growth pattern in the first 25 years of the club. Queensland State of Origin selection is not the be-all and end-all, but it is a litmus test.
“Clearly we have failed in our recruiting. It happened on someone’s watch.
“We have only got one player (Coates) who is really in contention, whereas in the old days we would have nine or 10.”
Dearden’s departure stings even more for Maranta and the Broncos. The club didn’t go out of its way to sign Roosters star Sam Walker a couple of years back because of the belief they had in Dearden. Walker has gone on to impress during his time in the top grade for the Tricolours, leaving the Broncos without a viable playmaker.
“I look at someone like Sam (Walker) who has Broncos blood running through his veins and it gives me indigestion that he is playing for the Roosters. Where did that come from?” Maranta asked.
“We should be out in Charleville and Roma looking around like we used to be.”
The Broncos also might rue letting Queensland teenager Reece Walsh leave the club considering his promising start to his NRL career on the weekend while representing the New Zealand Warriors.
Walsh impressed with 14 runs for 89m, one linebreak assist, two try assists and five tackle breaks in the 42-20 loss to the Melbourne Storm.
“The impact he (Walsh) had straight away for this Warriors team. He’s an 18-year old kid that is going to be brilliant if he stays injury-free from what I saw,” Laurie Daley said on the Big Sports Breakfast.
“I can’t believe the Broncos have let those two (Walker and Walsh) go. They are the future of the Broncos right there and they’ve let them go.
“I don’t know how they’ve missed them.”