Kevin Walters admits he was crestfallen to miss out on the Brisbane coaching job but insists he has moved on.
Speaking for the first time since being overlooked in favour of South Sydney’s Anthony Seibold for the coveted Broncos NRL role, Walters said he was getting on with life as Queensland coach.
He said he was refusing to harbour a grudge against the club with whom he won four NRL and one Super League premierships during the golden era of the glamour team in the 1990s and early 2000s.
“Yeah I was disappointed,” Walters said in Bundaberg in central Queensland on Friday.
“I’m very fortunate when I first started, I felt very privileged to have this opportunity with the Queensland State of Origin team, I’ve been doing it now for three years.
“I’m really looking forward to the next couple of years with the Maroons and trying to win that shield back, that’ll be my big focus.
“We’ve already started working on next year’s campaign.”
Walters was one of four candidates to succeed Wayne Bennett interviewed by the Broncos board – along with Seibold, Michael Maguire and Jason Demetriou.
Walters is a much-loved figure in Brisbane who has also had two stints at the Broncos as an assistant coach and their decision to overlook him earnt the ire of some of his former teammates.
The likes of Glenn Lazarus and Chris Johns both pilloried what they saw as the snubbing of one of the Broncos’ favourite sons.
Walters said he was content with his job in charge of the Maroons and was already working towards winning back the State of Origin shield after NSW’s breakthrough victory this year.
“The Broncos have made their decision,” Walters said.
“I’ve always felt really privileged to be in this position that I am. I’m really looking forward to my tenure as the Maroons coach, it’s a very exciting job. I feel challenged by what happened this year with the series.”
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