ANTHONY Seibold has confirmed he will immediately stand down as Brisbane Broncos coach, after a tumultuous year at the struggling NRL club.
The embattled leader entered Broncos HQ early on Wednesday morning for an emotional meeting with the playing group, where he said his goodbyes.
Addressing the media afterwards, Seibold said he had “chosen to step down from the Broncos coaching role”.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
“This was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make but right now I want to spend some more time with my family as they’ve made enormous scarifies in recent times,” Seibold said at a media conference on Wednesday.
It follows a difficult month for Seibold, who was forced into a 14-day quarantine after choosing to leave the squad’s bubble to attend to a family matter involving his duaghter in Sydney. At the same time, salacious rumours about his personal life began circulating, forcing him to hire lawyers.
Today, Seibold confirmed he will be taking the list of names of those behind the campaign against him to the police.
“I’ve been in a bubble so haven’t been able to get in front of a solicitor or the police. I’ve had some people reach out. There needs to be a change in the legislation for online bullying and social media but that’s for another time.”
Seibold admitted the ordeal played a big role in him calling it quits early.
“I think the final straw was hopping back on a plane from Sydney when I wanted to be with my daughter,” he said.
“I could’ve stayed for the final five games and do a review at the end of the year but I wanted to be fair to the club.
“I’m not afraid to say, I cried in front of the players, it was an emotional morning saying goodbye to the players.
“Plenty of hugs and you connect with people. You’re not going to connect with everyone but you’re in the footy team and a locker room. It’s always emotional when you say goodbye.”
The 45-year-old is now the shortest serving coach in Brisbane’s 32-year history, lasting only 20 months into a five-year contract and finishing with a winning record of 37 per cent.
“I gave it my best at the Broncos but ultimately I’m responsible for where we’re currently are. Head coaches know there’s no finger pointing, there’s no deflection of blame when a club struggles.”
Broncos CEO Paul White revealed that Seibold approach the chairman of the board last week to indicate he did not want to continue on as coach for the rest of the year and the remaining three years of his contract.
“The levels of scrutiny, some of it bordering on hysterical if not slanderous in recent times, have placed a very heavy burden on Anthony and his family,” White said.
“We have endeavoured to support Anthony and his loved ones during this time.”
Despite everything that’s happened, Seibold said he still has aspirations to coach again in the future.
“These events haven’t dampened my enthusiasm for coaching.. in fact it’s made me more determined than ever,” he said.
“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 and better leader but, ultimately, a better person for the experiences I’ve gone through over the last few years as head coach of South Sydney and coach of the Brisbane Broncos.”
Peter Gentle will remain as head coach on an interim role for the rest of the year while a search for a new leader gets underway.
“The board will begin a search for a new coach immediately but will not put a time frame on that process,” White said.