One-on-one with Dwayne Bennett

Published 12:00pm 9 June 2023

One-on-one with Dwayne Bennett
Words by Kylie Knight

He’s the Super Fan, the bloke everyone is watching and counting on to lead the Dolphins to NRL glory in their inaugural season. Dwayne Bennett, ‘first cousin’ to Wayne, also does the washing, inspires players and is a ‘mentor’ to the Super Coach.

He chats to Moreton Daily about being a Super Fan, the advice he’s given ‘Cuzzy Wayne’ and why he should do some TikTok videos …

Q. How does one become a Super Fan? Has this been a childhood dream?

“I’m a super fan of Wayne himself. I’m Wayne’s first cousin … can’t tell us apart. I’ve got a genogram that I made meself …

“It’s a weird thing to be a Super Fan. I think I’m among the other 40,000 fans that follow the Dolphins … you’re just automatically a Super Fan. Other football clubs just have fans, but every single fan of the Dolphins is a Super Fan. We’re fanatical, we become the team. The team becomes us. We’re all a community, nay, a family. That’s just like asking, ‘are you a fan of your mother, your father?. I think it’s just an automatic thing.’

“But we don’t call ourselves a Super Fan … it’s like Super Man saying I’m not a hero … I’m just a regular person who likes helping people. Or a Super Coach saying he’s not a Super Coach … but he is.”

Q. Do you feel the pressure to perform because you are arguably Australia’s best fan?

“No pressure this end. I just keep doing what I do. It’s what I have to do. It just comes naturally. Passion’s me middle name. It’s like a dog weeing on a tree, it just all comes natural.”

Q. You have high-level access to the players, your cousin, the fans … how does that happen?

“I do have a lot of access to the players. I’d love more access to me cousin, Wayne. He’s very busy. I understand that. I’ve got his number in my phone. I’ve called him countless times, sent him a few messages trying to give him advice about the team. He’s taken it because the boys are doing well this year.”

Q. What is your role?

“I do a lot of odd jobs around here. I pick up a few balls, pump up a few balls, I build up morale. I go to the dressing rooms, obviously when the boys aren’t in there and I pick up the dirty clothing … give them a little bit of a sniff to see if they’re dirty … not for too long. I don’t sniff it in a weird way, more in a friendly predator way.

“I like to take it home to me own washing machine because I know it gets washed properly. I do it in dishwashing liquid first … I do them in me sink. Sometimes I do the clothes with me dirty dishes.

“I do a lot of stuff behind the scenes around the field … make sure the lines are straight. I take me ruler from school and do that end-to-end. People say, ‘why don’t you just do it with a tape measure?’. I say, ‘this is more fun’.”

One-on-one with Dwayne Bennett
Super Fan Dwayne Bennett with fan favourite Valynce Te Whare.

Q. Are you the mentor to the master, giving Wayne some advice?

“We came up the ranks together. We’re close, I mean he may not say we are … he’s a larrikin like that. He’s got a very good sense of humour, Wayne. I’ll ring him and he’ll hang up.

“I’ll ring him and again and he’ll say what are you doing, I’m busy. I’m right in the middle of a game.

“There’s something wrong with his phone because every time I ring him, it sounds like he’s yelling at me, but I know he wouldn’t be.”

Q. If you could give Wayne some advice … if he answered the phone when you called, what would you say at the halfway mark of the season?

“Smile. Just smile a bit more. I’d like to see him do some TikTok dances like the floss, maybe the agent of orange …

“Tell a few more jokes because he’s a real comedian, Wayne. People misconstrue Wayne. If I could say anything about my cousin … he doesn’t just teach football, he teaches self-belief and that’s what these boys have got. They back themselves and they keep going, they will not stop.”

Q. Who does the best Phinsup in the team?

“Oh God! This is like CNN stuff. Kaufusi does a good Phinsup.”

Q. Who needs a bit more training in perfecting Phinsup?

“I’d like to see Wayne do a Phinsup. I don’t think he needs training in anything though. He doesn’t need more self-belief … he’s the Super Coach.

“He’s the best coach of all time. There’s coaches out there who would be jealous of him. They hide it, but I know they are. God himself is probably jealous.

“I’d love him to do a few more Phinsup … like me … scratch your voice. If you’re going to do a serious Phinsup, you need to suck on a lozenger afterwards. You need to hurt your throat.”

Q. Are you the Dolphins’ secret weapon?

“I reckon I could be the secret weapon. Something that was said to me by a wise man was attitude determines altitude. If you’ve got good attitude, you’ll make it through anything. I’ve got the greatest attitude for this team and for the players. When your players are as nice as these guys, it’s hard not to like them.”

Q. With you leading from the front, where do you reckon the side’s going to finish this season?

“Top 4. Easy top 4. I’m hoping it’s going to be a Dolphins V Rabbitohs final. A dolphin can beat any animal … what’s a rabbit going to do against a dolphin? I know they go at each other like rabbits but they’re going to drown like rabbits. Dolphins can survive anywhere. They rise to the occasion and they have.

“We don’t have to prove ourselves anymore. Everyone doubted us from the first game – the Roosters … cockadoodledo. We done it!”

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