Broncos legend and current board member Darren Lockyer has defended the club’s appointment of an inexperienced leadership group to steer the franchise out of the worst slump in its history.
Ikin resigned from his post as a Fox Sports analyst earlier this week to join the Broncos as the fallen glamour club’s new head of football.
The 44-year-old, who played 55 matches with the Broncos in a 150-game first-grade career, has been installed as Peter Nolan’s replacement. Nolan was sacked after Thursday night’s 46-0 thrashing at the hands of the Rabbitohs.
But the situation has thrown up a rather counter-intuitive scenario for the Broncos, a club in desperate need of an experienced hand, with a near all-rookie leadership group now at the helm.
Dave Donaghy was Melbourne Storm CEO for five years before his appointment north and is relatively young in club-land. He has a background in communications and journalism.
Ikin has never held a club administrative role, while Kevin Walters is in his first stint as an NRL head coach and has the team again running last.
Lockyer said he was confident the trio’s inexperience could be overcome by their passion and legitimate desire to restore the glory of the fallen club.
“Time will tell [if there’s too much inexperience] but I don’t think so. Ben obviously wanted to be back in club land and particular the Broncos when he went for the CEO role,” Lockyer told Wide World of Sports’ QLDER.
Asked if he foresaw any awkwardness, owing to the fact that Ikin had run against Donaghy for the Broncos’ chief executive job late last year, Lockyer replied: “No. I think Ben acknowledges that Dave was the standout candidate, and he was. He was CEO of the Storm at the time.
“I think it’s a good indication from Ben that he wants to come in and make a difference, leaving the job he’s got now. Because obviously where he is going now comes with scrutiny. But he’s doing it for the right reasons.
“Just knowing his temperament, knowing his intellect, I think him and Dave are already aligned on a lot of things and that’s a good sign.”
Ultimately, Lockyer was buoyed by the looming partnership between Ikin and Donaghy
“Dave has come in and he’s got some fresh ideas and he’s made some changes. I think Ben brings a fresh perspective,” he said.
Lockyer backs Walters as Broncos coach
“He’ll basically been doing a 10-year course on NRL clubs in his [media] job. So, I guess he understands the intrinsic parts of the NRL clubs out there and what is successful and what is not.
“I think, he’ll come with fresh ideas, and I think that will be exactly what the club needs right now.”
General manager of football operations Andrew Croll was also axed following Brisbane’s drubbing, while there were fears that Walters was fighting for his job as news of a player revolt broke out. Brisbane bosses have since extinguished those concerns.
Ikin last year applied for the Broncos’ chief executive role amid the departure of long-term boss Paul White, but the 2000 Brisbane premiership five-eighth was beaten to the position by Donaghy.
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