Why South Sydney shouldn’t hire Bennett: Scott Sattler

Joel Gould |

Former Souths coach Wayne Bennett (l) will hold talks with the Rabbitohs about a return in 2025.
Former Souths coach Wayne Bennett (l) will hold talks with the Rabbitohs about a return in 2025.

South Sydney must ensure they don’t find themselves facing the same dire position in two years time if they appoint Wayne Bennett coach again.

Scott Sattler, a 2003 premiership winner with Penrith and son of Rabbitohs royalty John Sattler, told AAP of the care the club must take after sacking Jason Demetriou, who was Bennett’s choice as his successor after he left Souths at the end of 2021.

“Purely due to Wayne’s brilliance in coaching and man management (appointing Bennett) is probably a decision I wouldn’t make at Souths,” Sattler said.

“If I was Parramatta and Brad Arthur’s position was in jeopardy then I would understand it, as a club that hasn’t tasted premiership success in nearly 40 years.

“Wayne did a great job at Souths over three seasons, but going back and replacing the guy that he endorsed, I see as a vicious cycle.”

Sattler said he understood why seven-time premiership winner Bennett was in the Rabbitohs’ sights. Souths are last after nine rounds and the playing group that Bennett took to two preliminary finals and a grand final are mostly still there.

“I think Souths CEO Blake Solly is one of the best, if not the best, CEOs in the game and I think he is smart enough to look at various angles for this coaching role,” Sattler said.

“A lot of Souths members might say they need success right now but are we still talking about these same topics in three or four years time?

“It needs heavy consideration given Wayne’s status in the game and what he has done at so many clubs, but I think Souths need to look at some of the cons that come with it.

“You have to do a risk analysis on everything and history has shown there is a lot of reward while Wayne is there but a lot of risk after he leaves.”

Rick Stone (Newcastle), Steve Price (St George Illawarra), Anthony Seibold (Brisbane) and now Demetriou are amongst the coaches who followed Bennett and were later sacked after minimal success.

“I think some of the coaches have waited until he has left and said, ‘this is my coaching philosophy and I am going to put a new lick of paint on this team’ whereas the success those clubs have had under Wayne has not been about tactics but about simplicity,” Sattler said.

“Then there is the human aspect which a lot of the coaches haven’t mastered, whereas Wayne mastered that in the 1980s.”

Bennett, in his last year as Dolphins head coach, was asked about why his successors had failed.

“That’s not my fault. I don’t know. Ask them,” he said.

Bennett, who will hold talks with the Rabbitohs about a return in the coming days, said he had no doubt his successor at the Dolphins, assistant Kristian Woolf, would not fail.

“We have a wonderful club here with a great set up to continue after my departure,” Bennett said.

“That’s why I only took two years here. There is no reason why it won’t be successful.”