Anthony Seibold's final speech as Broncos coach

|| August 26, 2020

This is the text of Anthony Seibold's speech, announcing that he was stepping down from his role as Brisbane Broncos Head Coach:

Ladies and gentlemen,

Last week, I made the decision to finish my tenure as coach of the Brisbane Broncos. Today, I am announcing that I will be stepping down from the role immediately.

From a professional viewpoint, this was the hardest decision I have ever made. Right now, I want to spend more time with my family. They have made enormous sacrifices for me in recent times.

I was honoured to be appointed Brisbane Broncos coach at the end of 2018. This was the club where I started my rugby league journey as a young man and it’s a club that I have always admired.

For many reasons, my time at the Broncos did not work out as we had all hoped. But that’s sport. We love sport because it’s full of uncertainty. And rugby league seems to throw up uncertainty better than any sport I know.

People ask me if there are things I’d change about the last two seasons. None of that matters right now.

I gave it my best at the Broncos and ultimately I am responsible for where we currently are. Head coaches know that there is no finger-pointing and no deflection of blame when a club struggles.

These events haven’t dampened my enthusiasm for coaching or wanting to help others achieve. In fact, they have made me more determined. Head coaching in the NRL isn’t for the faint of heart. I know that. And I know that I’ll be a better coach, a better leader and ultimately a better person for all that I have learnt over these last three seasons as head coach at South Sydney and head coach at Brisbane Broncos. 

I have very much appreciated the messages of support from many people over the last two weeks. I want to thank them, and I also want to let them know that I’m doing ok.

I have appreciated the opportunity to coach the Broncos. I can’t thank Karl Morris, Paul White and Peter Nolan enough for their work and their advice and their support throughout my time here. They run a very successful club and they should be proud of what the Broncos achieve in shaping so many lives for the better across Queensland. This club is more than what happens on the footy field and I’ve been privileged to see that up close over the last two years.

I thank the Broncos fans. Sport only succeeds because of the passion of the fans. Without them, we have nothing.

Most of all, I’m appreciative of the opportunity to be a football coach, working with young men towards a common goal. It’s a special thing. I thank my players over these last two seasons for their effort, for their camaraderie and for their passion for playing football. Our game is a brutal game physically and they put their bodies on the line each and every week.

I take pride in the fact over my 38 games as head coach of the Broncos I have given NRL debuts to twelve young men of the Broncos. There were also another eight players with less than twelve games when I arrived and to see that group of men develop over this period into NRL players and in some cases representative players gives me great personal satisfaction.

I want to thank the staff – both admin and football staff – for their efforts in applying themselves to the club. They have made many sacrifices and have come along for the journey.

When I was a young player in the Broncos lower grades in the early 1990s, football was still a part-time career for me. I also taught a Year 6 class at a school in Brisbane’s northern suburbs.

I taught a boy with muscular dystrophy. He was in a wheelchair. Every day was a challenge for him. He was one of the bravest people I have ever known.

That young man taught me a lot more than I could ever teach him. He taught me about real perseverance – about the ability to endure, the joy of simple things and the importance of gratitude. 

Those things are more important than ever now for me and my family, for Broncos management and supporters and for all who have been suffering during COVID-19: perseverance; the simple things and gratitude.

I’ll spend some time reflecting in the coming weeks, very grateful for the opportunities that have come my way in the last few years.

Thank you.