Wayne Bennett opens up about lifelong personal struggles in incredibly rare interview
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Wayne Bennett is one of the most influential characters in the game of rugby league in Australia.
Having won seven premierships across multiple clubs, as well as heading up the Maroons for some crucial State of Origin games there’s no doubt he’s one of the best coaches to ever do it.
It’s an unbelievable record, made even more impressive by the fact that for all intents and purposes, Bennett isn’t that open of a personality.
Many coaches like to stamp their authority on the team by being one of the biggest personalities in the room, however, for Bennett, he’s an introverted character.
It’s something the 73-year-old has said he’s battled with for most of his career in order to get the best out of himself and his players.
In an upcoming Stan documentary Dawn of the Dolphins, which details the launch of the new NRL franchise, Bennett delivered a rare interview detailing how often he struggles with his introverted personality.
He says, via Wide World of Sports: “Every time... I'm fighting it just sitting here with you.
"I probably made my mind up sometime a couple of hours ago that I didn't really want to talk to you today.
"I was going to keep everything pretty short, pretty sharp, which I have done. But I have given a bit of myself."
He admits it’s something he has to get past in order to connect with his players.
He continues: “ I don't like giving myself publicly. It's not who introverts are.
"All my life I've fought it. But I won the battle with it, because I wouldn't be able to coach if I was introverted, you've got to be able to communicate.
"I can't tell you the (number of) days, and the moments in a day when I have to fight with myself to talk to somebody - not because I don't want to talk, I just don't want to talk right there and right then and I don't want to have that conversation.
"But I have to have it, and I have to do it.
"Does it worry me that someone says, 'you don't talk much Wayne'... none of that worries me. I talk to get my message across and after that I'm just going to shut up. "
While his personality can sometimes come off as stand-offish in interviews and press conferences, there’s no doubt he can get the most out of his players.
It’s one of the many reasons why the Dolphins looked to him to be their first coach.
The new NRL side heads into the season as one of the favourites to take home the dreaded wooden spoon.
But if there’s any coach that can make miracles happen - it’s Bennett.