Broncos' Walters faces one-year deals

·3-min read

Brisbane chairman Karl Morris insists Kevin Walters will be the NRL club's head coach next year but says any future contract extensions will likely be on a one-year basis.

The Broncos have conducted an end-of-season review into their year.

Morris said Walters, under contract until the end of 2023 after signing a one-year extension in March, was the right man to lead the club forward after taking the side from bottom of the ladder two years ago to ninth this season.

Brisbane won 13 games under Walters' stewardship this year, their most since 2018, but lost five of their last six games to slip from fourth to ninth and miss the finals.

The Broncos paid a hefty termination settlement to former coach Anthony Seibold when they parted ways in 2020 in the second year of a five-year deal, a scenario the club does not want to revisit.

Morris said he was not concerned about any perceptions of instability from not extending Walters' contract beyond next season.

"The way I view it is that he has a contract until the end of next year and at some stage during the year we will have a conversation with him about going onto a normal employee contract or extending his current contract," Morris told AAP.

"I assume it would be a yearly contract. I don't see what the benefit or upside is in having any employee, forget just Kevin Walters, on any more than a one-year contract."

Walters was not fazed by Morris's view on contracts.

"That doesn't bother me," the coach said.

"We made some good improvements from my perspective this year as a football club and football team and it is my job to make sure those improvements continue.

"When that happens everything else looks after itself."

Morris has been impressed with Walters' "enthusiasm and dedication to improving the whole team" and work in creating a happy team culture.

The Broncos have jumped five places on the ladder from their 14th position last season and defied many pundits who did not have them anywhere near the top eight this year.

"There has been great improvement," Morris said.

"We always knew it was going to take more than two seasons to build a team around a coach.

"The Broncos environment has been probably the most important part of what (Walters) has brought."

Individual player highlights under Walters have included a breakout season for winger Selwyn Cobbo, who made his Origin debut this year, and the emergence of five-eighth Ezra Mam as a player of rare talent.

Walters has also overseen the revival of winger Corey Oates' career from a footballer on the wane to a contender for the Broncos player of the year.

Prop Pat Carrigan has emerged as one of the game's leading forwards after an ACL injury.

"They are less young now, and getting 50 and 60 games under their belts," Morris said of the emerging talent.

"The addition of (Kurt) Capewell and (Adam) Reynolds added a fair bit of experience.

"The young players have two, three and four years experience under their belt and that is going to make all the difference next year.

"The thing that hurts the most is that we were fourth and went to ninth.

"Mid-season we won seven in a row. We probably got a bit ahead of ourselves and a few things didn't hold together, particularly injuries and some suspensions post-State of Origin."