New Broncos boss Dave Donaghy says an urgent priority for the club will be to lock down their young talent.
New Broncos boss Dave Donaghy says an urgent priority for the club will be to lock down young talent in a bid to stop “vultures” from poaching Brisbane’s up and coming stars.
Donaghy, who recently became the club’s new CEO following a six-year stint in charge at the Storm, today took aim at rival clubs as the Broncos find themselves in a battle to retain a number of young stars.
The Broncos famously lost star back-rower David Fifita to the Titans at the end of last season on a deal worth over $3 million, while young playmaker Tom Dearden and teen sensation Reece Walsh were recently swooped on by the Cowboys and Warriors respectively.
And as it stands right now, two of Brisbane’s most highly regarded talents, centre Kotoni Staggs and winger Xavier Coates, are both yet to re-sign with the club as they weigh up offers from NRL rivals.
The Broncos CEO said he hopes to work with the NRL on establishing a better system to help teams retain players that have come through their pathways system.
“My intent is to come in and work with the recruitment and retention team, I do have experience in that space,” Donaghy said during a press conference.
“I’ve got a firm grasp on the salary cap, I understand how roster management works.
“There are also some challenges, and it’s not an excuse, some challenges in terms of our regulation and our governance among the game. There’s no reward for development.
“There’s the ability for vultures to swoop in and throw ridiculous amounts of money and steal your best talent.
“Do I have the answers? No I don’t. Is it something on the agenda for the NRL? Yes it will be.
“But certainly for me, I want to ensure the program is sophisticated enough that we are identifying those players at a younger age, and locking those players down.”
It’s understood Staggs is yet to re-sign despite being offered a three-year extension worth more than $2 million, while Coates, who has scored seven tries from eight appearances this year, has been linked with a move to the Storm.
Coates, 20, flew to Melbourne over the weekend to tour the Storm’s facilities and is now close to signing on with the Victorian club, according to a report by the Daily Telegraph.
“I don’t know why anyone would want to leave this place, this facility is world-class,” Donaghy added.
“A few years ago I was fortunate to spend some time with the Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets, the New York Jets… they are world-class organisations, this is a world-class facility.
“This facility marries up with anything they had. It’s a wonderful environment.”
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