Walters hits 300 as Bronco player, coach but best ahead
Brisbane coach Kevin Walters says his best moments at the club are yet to come as he notches his own significant milestone against Melbourne on Thursday night.
Walters played 241 games for the Broncos, winning five NRL premierships, and he will coach his 59th against the Storm at AAMI Park on Thursday night - making it his 300th as a player and coach at the glamour club.
His faith never wavered that he would one day become head coach of the club after hanging up the boots in 2002.
"That was the dream and you've go to keep on (believing) in your dreams," he said.
"There were times where it was looking very unlikely but I am really proud of my effort and the support of my family to get me coaching back here at the Broncos as head coach.
"It is thrilling to get to 300 but I feel that my best moments at the Broncos are in front of me."
Walters was sacked by Wayne Bennett as his assistant at the end of the 2005 season when the coach told him he needed to branch out and go coach in other places.
He did exactly that and took Ipswich to a Queensland Cup grand final in 2008, coached Catalans in the Super League and took the helm of the Queensland Maroons, winning the 2016 and 2017 State of Origin series.
Walters was Craig Bellamy's assistant from 2011-2013 and got to see first-hand how well he prepares a side. Bellamy was also Bennett's assistant when Walters was a player at the Broncos.
It is a decade since Walters' stint at the Storm, but says some things never change.
"Their side has changed a bit as well, but certainly their coach hasn't," he said.
"I know (Bellamy's) passion for the game and for every weekend that he plays. He gets his teams ready to play.
"He just seems to save something special for the Broncos. We have spoken about that and we just have to get down there and have a good crack."
That "something special" includes Bellamy leading Melbourne to 12 consecutive wins over Brisbane dating back to 2016.
"They have been very good at home and away, but that doesn't really bother us," Walters said.
"This is a different Broncos team and we are all looking forward to going down to Melbourne and getting a good gauge of where we are at.
"Craig certainly had a big influence over my coaching career. We have been down there a couple of times with a Broncos team when we have had our arses kicked and we need to be much better."
The difference is that Brisbane are on top of the ladder on 16 competition points, four clear of the Storm who have been hot and cold in 2023.
Broncos centre Herbie Farnworth has recovered from the flu he had earlier in the week and will take his place in the side.