Seibold won’t be a prisoner of Wayne’s World
ANTHONY Seibold says he won't crack under the pressure of succeeding Wayne Bennett and has vowed to launch a new era at the Broncos, declaring: "I will do things my way."
Seibold will inherit one of the toughest jobs in Australian sport as the successor to Bennett, the Broncos' only premiership coach who delivered six titles during the club's golden age between 1992-2006.
Brisbane's two other coaches, Ivan Henjak and Anthony Griffin, were both sacked after struggling to cope with the burden of Bennett's formidable legacy at Queensland's flagship club.
Seibold entered Brisbane's system as a lower-grade forward in 1992, giving him a close-up view of Bennett's mastery as he coached the Broncos to their maiden premiership and back-to-back titles the following year.
While he respects the 68-year-old's record, a confident Seibold says he won't be a Bennett copycat and will stamp his own mark on a Broncos club desperate to once again dominate the NRL.
Souths coach Seibold could be at the Broncos as early as next season if Brisbane and the Rabbitohs broker a straight swap in the coming weeks.
"I certainly don't feel pressure following in Wayne's footsteps," he said.
"He has a legacy there at the Broncos, but I'm my own coach.
"I don't know how Wayne does things. I don't know his processes or practices, so it's not something that worries me.
"To be fair, I respect Wayne enormously and what he has done in the game.
"He has had a career that potentially will never be surpassed in some ways.
"But I encountered the same sort of expectation at Souths with 'Madge' (Michael Maguire, Seibold's premiership-winning predecessor).
"I've just done things my way at Souths and I'm happy to be judged on how I do things, rather than being compared to others.
"I will do things my way at Brisbane."
Seibold knows Bennett's influence at the Broncos is enormous.
He has called the shots at Brisbane for 25 of their 31 seasons and the club has never known premiership success without the man crowned the NRL's greatest ever coach by the Men of League Foundation in 2011.
Seibold is currently focused on his role at South Sydney, but when he steps into Bennett's throne - either next year or in 2020 - he won't be a prisoner of Wayne's World.
A deep-thinker with methods that piloted the Rabbitohs to a grand-final qualifier last season, Seibold plans to inject fresh structures at the Broncos.
"The other two coaches who were at the Broncos were underneath Wayne as assistants, so this a great opportunity for me to go in there with a blank page," he said.
"I remember my early days at the Broncos when Wayne was coach. In my first two years there, the first-grade team won back-to-back premierships.
"But that was a long time ago. These days, I don't really know what Wayne's philosophies are as a coach.
"I have my ideas and it's a huge honour to be given the chance to coach the Broncos.
"I don't want to be disrespectful to my current role because I felt tremendous pride in helping Souths improve this year, but ultimately I was yearning to go home.
"The Broncos are a club that appeal to me and I have an opportunity to go home and coach a club that I followed as a young bloke."
Broncos wing legend Wendell Sailor, who has known Seibold more than 30 years and is one of his closest mates, believes the 44-year-old will relish succeeding Bennett.
"The expectation will be huge," Sailor said. "But I've known 'Seibs' a long time and even when we were teammates in the Broncos' lower grades, I could see he had the makings of a coach.
"He always had great attention to detail and he is a very good communicator, so he's the type of coach who can get the best out of the current playing group.
"The Wayne Bennett shadow will be there, but Seibs will not be fazed by it."
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