Angry Seibold hits back at Rabbitohs rumours
ANTHONY Seibold has been in the crosshairs over Brisbane's slow start to the year, but the deepest wounds in recent weeks have been caused by a whisper campaign suggesting he white-anted Michael Maguire to get a start at South Sydney.
Seibold finds the suggestion offensive. He insists he played no part in Souths' decision to part ways with Maguire at the end of 2017, something Rabbitohs officials have confirmed.
Yet the rumours reared their head again last week, prompting Seibold's mother to call and ask whether they were true.
"I will say I was offended by that perception," Seibold said.
"To have my mum ring me and ask me that question - it really hurt that that would be said about me.
"Where that has come from I have no idea. (Souths head of football) Shane Richardson will tell you that is not the case.
"I suppose in some way I have been a pretty easy target over the past six months. Some people can plant stories, tell stories, suggest snidely certain things about myself.
"As I said, I have spoken to Michael Maguire since he was released from the Rabbitohs. He rung me on game day of my first-ever game as a head coach.
"I haven't spoken to him recently. I hated that that story has been planted by someone. It is a story that has been planted by someone who wants to see me hurt.
"So I am not going to give it too much more oxygen than that. I can't control the decision the board made there.
'It was nothing to do with me."
Seibold has no interest in being part of the rugby league rumour mill. He would prefer to devote his energy to coaching and educating his players.
"I am not paranoid about it, but that is the toxic part of our game," he said.
"It doesn't interest me. Do you need to do it? I don't know. It works for some people but it would be against my personality to do that.
"So I am not going to try to be something I am not. I had a pretty good mentor in Bellyache (Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy). He didn't play games.
"So I use him as a role model As an assistant coach, all you do is you coach. You build relationships with players and you give feedback, you work hands-on with the players. You're almost like a big brother.
"When you become a head coach - and I heard Trent Robinson say this - you're like a dad. It is a different experience.
"Last year for whatever reason a lot of things seemed to go my way. This year it has been a little bit more challenging."
The Broncos head to Suncorp Stadium on Friday night to face Manly, having won only two of their opening eight games. Things haven't gone to plan, prompting Seibold to wield the axe in the lead-up to the game.
Centre James Roberts and winger Jamayne Isaako have been dumped and Tevita Pangai has been shifted to the interchange bench.
Brisbane were expected to be a top-four side yet they find themselves in 13th spot. Seibold concedes it has been a challenging start to life at the Broncos but he defiantly suggests brighter days are ahead.
"I jump out of bed every day and I want to go to work. I want to get better and I know how we can get better as a group," Seibold said.
"I am staying the course. I know what we need to do. I know what good coaching looks like.
"I am trying to put things in place to do that. Whether we see a significant impact over the short term I am not sure. I hope so but hope is not a strategy.
"People have seen that I have given Tom Dearden and (Thomas) Flegler and (Patrick) Carrigan their debuts. We are really investing in some players in our group who I see great potential in.
"There are no excuses for us. We have to keep working. We will get better, there is no doubt about that.
"Success never comes in a straight line and I understand there are going be to some challenges along the way. I am here for the long term and I will keep working hard every single day.
"I think it is ridiculous to speculate on this being a success or not after eight games. I have a 100-odd more games to coach before my contract finishes and then I have an option in my favour.
"The club trusts me to do the job. If you have a look at any successful coach around the world in sport there are always a lot of challenges they have to deal with.
"This is just part of my journey."