I reckon Kevin Walters will already be counting down the days until Friday March 12...
That’s the date the Broncos will be running out onto Suncorp Stadium to play their first match of the 2021 season against the Parramatta Eels. For Brisbane players and fans it will be the first step towards wiping the slate clean after the worst year in the club’s history. For Kevvie Walters it will be the fulfillment of an almost 20-year dream.
From the day he hung up the boots after a glittering career which included 242 games and six premiership for the Broncos, he has aspired to coach the club and after a long and at times frustrating apprenticeship he has finally been given his chance. All Broncos fans will be right behind him, but good wishes and high hopes won’t count for anything when the season starts.
The first round Friday night blockbuster against the always-tough Eels will provide the perfect opener to what promises to be a sensational year for both the team and the stadium. Other stand-out home games include the showdowns with last season’s grand finalists – the Panthers in round six on Thursday April 15, and the premiers Storm in round twelve on Thursday May 27 – and what may well be the last appearance at Suncorp Stadium of Wayne Bennett as a head coach when he brings his Rabbitohs to town on Thursday June 17.
Then there will be the two highly anticipated local derbies, first against the on-the-rise Titans featuring David Fifita and Payne Haas’s mate Tino Fa’asuamaleaui in round eight on Friday April 30, and then the Cowboys in round 20 on Friday July 30.
Plus of course there will be a chance for Brisbane league followers to see every club in the competition in action when Suncorp Stadium once again hosts the aptly-named Magic Round in round ten over the weekend of May 14-16, featuring the Broncos versus the Manly Sea Eagles on the Friday night.
It’s shaping as a huge season and I reckon Kevin Walters will be out to make sure it’s one to remember – for all the right reasons.
What do YOU reckon?