How coach Seibold shook up the Broncos
Anthony Seibold's Red Hill revolution has taken shape with the Brisbane Broncos coach completing a seismic shake-up of the club as he attempts to create an NRL premiership powerhouse.
The Sunday Mail has discovered that in a little over a year the Broncos have farewelled two thirds of their playing squad, allowing Seibold to put his stamp on the club with a comprehensive overhaul.
Seibold, 45, arrived at the Broncos in December, 2018, to replace seven-time premiership coach Wayne Bennett following the most tumultuous period in the club's 32-year history.
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The Broncos and Bennett's messy divorce shook the club to its core and last season's record 58-0 finals loss to Parramatta was the sour ending to an eventful year.
But with an entire year under his belt and the benefit of planning a full pre-season, Seibold has launched into preparations for a 2020 title assault.
Seibold said he didn't make excuses for last year's eighth-placed finish and finals exit and he wouldn't be making any next season.
"There was no excuses last season, I certainly didn't make any excuses," he said.
"There were some challenges. I took full responsibility for that last game.
"Failure is a great stepping stone to success. I don't think any organisation or individual has had success without some humps along the way.
"It's been challenging at different times but I love it. I feel comfortable that I know the players a lot better.
"We've made a number of changes. There are 10 or 11 players who were in the squad when I arrived last December who are no longer here. I get out of bed every day ready to do my best for the team and club."
At least 18 players that were part of Bennett's 2018 Broncos squad are no longer at Red Hill, highlighting how big a transformation the club has undergone.
Club stalwarts Sam Thaiday and Matt Gillett have retired over the past two years while the Broncos shifted James Roberts, Jaydn Su'A, Josh McGuire, Kodi Nikorima and Gehamat Shibasaki to other clubs while under contract.
At the same time, Seibold has ushered in a new generation of talent.
Pat Carrigan, Tom Flegler, Tom Dearden, Herbie Farnworth and Xavier Coates made their NRL debuts last year while Payne Haas, David Fifita, Kotoni Staggs and Jake Turpin built on their 2018 introductions.
"We've tried to establish a pathway for our emerging players, you saw how many guys made their NRL debuts last year," Seibold said.
"There were eight players who made their debuts last year and seven of those came through our EPD (elite player development). Our pathways seem to be working.
"Many of our younger players have re-signed here because we're trying to create something.
"It doesn't happen overnight, it takes a lot of hard work. We're on a bit of a journey."
Seibold announced the biggest decision of his Broncos tenure on Friday by axing Darius Boyd as captain and elevating Alex Glenn to the team's top post.
He has installed a new leadership group including a host of young players in Matt Lodge, Tevita Pangai Jr, Brodie Croft, Carrigan and Haas to work alongside veterans Boyd and Glenn.
The Broncos will begin their 2020 campaign with a blockbuster derby against the Cowboys at the new Townsville Stadium on March 13 and CEO Paul White is confident they will be better prepared this season.
"Anthony is a very well-planned coach and he didn't have the benefit of planning last pre-season. He's had that this year," White said.
"Seibs has had his hand on the full squad and we've made good use of our pre-season. We're pleased with where we are now. A lot of hard work has gone in.
"I'm really looking forward to the season ahead because it was a bit disjointed last season and we haven't had that this time.
"Some of the young guys coming through probably over-achieved last year. They've got another pre-season under their belts and the benefit of those games they played last year and tough lessons they learnt."
Players to have left Broncos since 2018
Matt Gillett, Josh McGuire, Sam Thaiday, Todd Murphy, Kodi Nikorima, Tom Opacic, Moses Pangai, Jonus Pearson, James Roberts, Andre Savelio, Gehamat Shibasaki, Korbin Sims, Jayden Su'A, Sam Tagataese, Myles Taueli, Troy Dargan, George Fai, Salesi Funaki.