New Brisbane Broncos boss Paul White wants to embrace the spotlight of leading one of Australia’s highest-profile football clubs but will start with simple expectations of a 2011 return to NRL finals action.
White, who began his tenure as chief executive this week, restated support for under-pressure coach Ivan Henjak after the NRL’s most supported club missed the finals for the first time in 19 seasons.
But the former Mt Isa police boss and mining company executive indicated a play-off finish was an important gauge of success for a team with a “wonderful young playing roster”.
“People talk about top-eight finishes and I think that’s a realistic expectation,” White told reporters.
“You can’t win a premiership or make a grand final without making the top eight, and I think that would be the expectation I know of Ivan and his staff.
“I will fall in behind that.”
White is just the fourth man to be in charge of the Broncos after following in the footsteps of previous CEOs John Ribot, Shane Edwards and Bruno Cullen.
A former Brisbane Souths centre who also played for Queensland Country, White said he was excited by the challenge and would embrace the spotlight.
“If anyone knows anything about Mount Isa I can tell you running a police station there was a challenge,” he said.
“To a large extent when you’re running country police stations you’re in the spotlight anyway.
“It’s a very different sort of spotlight because you don’t see cameras all over the place.”
In his second press conference after being announced as Cullen’s successor in October, White backed Henjak and side-stepped talk of possible succession plans involving skipper Darren Lockyer.
“I said I’d give Ivan my full leadership and support and what that means is I don’t make comments on Ivan,” he said.
“He has a two-year contract at this club and we’ll all be united in getting behind him, and everyone else at this club, to make sure he succeeds so I won’t make comments about Ivan.”
The Broncos are currently involved in a four-day pre-season training camp in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, ending Friday.