Bennett’s return has club abuzz
HULKING Maroochydore product Ajuma Adams is expected to become a part Wayne Bennett's new and improved Broncos after the supercoach gave him a personalised tick of approval.
Two weeks away from ending his National Youth Cup career the 20-year-old prop was told that Bennett wanted him to stay at Red Hill next season as part of the senior squad. Adams, who is playing in Brisbane's under-20s qualification final on Friday night, has not signed a deal but is expected to formalise his future within the fortnight.
"It's massive, because a couple of weeks ago I was thinking I would have to spend next year in Queensland Cup or something trying to prove myself to an NRL club," Adams, 20, said.
"Then they told me that Wayne wanted me here next season, so that's a massive thing to have his support, knowing who he is and what he has done for the club."
Adams' first interaction with his soon-to-be coach was a sit-down players' meeting yesterday where the seven-time premiership winner outlined his plan to restore Brisbane as a premiership force.
"Before everyone went away for the off-season, he just wanted everyone to know the changes that were going to happen and what he expects," Adams said.
"I just think he felt like in the last couple of years the NRL squad probably hadn't reached the heights everyone expects from the Brisbane Broncos and he just said there's going to be changes to get them back to where they were when they won the competition in 2006."
The meeting had an immediate impact on Adams, who arrived at Brisbane after Bennett's 21-year tenure with the club.
"When I first met him I got sort of like almost nervous," the 183cm, 102kg front-rower said.
"I was never at the club when he was here; I only heard stuff about him."
Even a relative newcomer like Adams, who spent three seasons in the Broncos' under-20s program, could see the difference with Bennett in the building.
"There's just massive excitement about what he brings to the club because of his past," Adams said.
"Everyone's excited. It's just a different feeling than it has been ..."
Adams and his under-20s teammates are preparing for Friday night's qualification final against St George-Illawarra.