Seibold building framework at the Broncos
IN MY time as communications manager at the Brisbane Broncos I had the priceless opportunity to watch - close at hand - two of the most successful NRL coaches at work.
Between them, Wayne Bennett and Craig Bellamy have won 11 premierships in 26 years, so both clearly have a special gift.
And while they were in different phases of their careers when I was at the Broncos, patently obvious was the fact both were outstanding in their field.
But interviewing Anthony Seibold at two functions in the past fortnight has given me an insight into a completely new era of footy coaching.
Not for one minute would I dare suggest Bennett and Bellamy have seen better days - only a fool would back against them winning more premierships - but this new Broncos coach speaks a different language. And while he is softly spoken and modest, his air of confidence is compelling.
Interestingly, Seibold never achieved any great heights as a player, yet was always destined to coach. With that as his goal he endured a long internship and showed a willingness to follow roads others were reluctant to tread.
When surprisingly appointed as Rabbitohs head coach two years ago and quizzed on his apparent "overnight" arrival, Seibold was quick to point out his apprenticeship had been a dozen years, three times longer than a carpenter's.
Maybe it was because he was tertiary educated that Seibold impressed in my lengthy interviews with him. After all, not many involved in the game can trot out a CV that reads Bachelor of Teaching, Masters of Education, university lecturer and Harvard scholar.
But his educational reach extends even further. He incessantly picks the brains of successful people such as Russell Crowe, Eddie Jones, AFL coaches Ken Hinkley and Luke Beveridge and All Blacks tactical genius Wayne Smith.
There is even a guy named Kannon Rajah, casting director of the Victoria's Secret catwalk shows, who Seibold locks on to for ideas to better himself.
To watch a 2019 Broncos training session is an experience like nothing seen at Red Hill previously. For starters, loud, thudding music booms out as the players warm up. This mirrors the noise in a gym and pumps the players into that mandatory fast-paced mode.
And the speed at which the players train is high octane - always. Seibold says that intensity will continue all year because he believes in them training at a speed above which they will experience on the playing field.
In oppose sessions, he presents his team a game-context situation, puts a score on the board and a time on the clock, and the players need to conquer the scenario.
So don't expect the Broncos to be the second-slowest play-the-ball team in 2019, as they were last year.
But despite the refreshing revolution of the Broncos - the innovative training sessions, the demonstrative enthusiasm and the undeniable quality of the coach - Seibold promises nothing as far as a seventh premiership is concerned.
That's up to the players. Like the carpenter mentioned earlier, the coach says he merely builds the framework.
His team must paint the picture.