Former Leeds Rhinos coaching hopeful described as “confusing and unyielding” ahead of big job

We very nearly saw Anthony Seibold coaching in Super League when he contacted Leeds Rhinos hoping to take the reigns as Head Coach in 2021.

Leeds opted to stick with Richard Agar at the time with Seibold instead working with Eddie Jones with England Rugby Union.

Now though, he is headed back to rugby league to take on a Head Coach role with Manly Sea Eagles ironically joined by another nearly Leeds Rhinos coach in the shape of Shane Flanagan.

With his next job round the corner, Seibold has been somewhat under the spotlight and the Daily Telegraph has tried to gauge what the overriding opinion is of the man we very nearly saw at Headingley.

An unnamed player who worked with him at Brisbane Broncos, said the former South Sydney boss was “confusing and unyielding.”

He went on to say: “The Broncos players generally felt him to be very rigid and set in his ways. He had meetings organised all the time. I think the playmakers felt confused over his systems,” said a well-placed source close to the Broncos.

“One player told me directly that ‘Seibs’ said his door was always open but it didn’t feel open. They struggled to connect with him as a bloke. It was information overload for some players.

“But conversely, he was very organised and tactically, he was very smart. He has a very good football brain. ‘Seibs’ certainly knows the game and understands it.”

So tactically very smart, it seems he either fits a playing group or he doesn’t.

He certainly fit the bill at Souths but left them high and dry for Brisbane in a move that seemingly still irks South Sydney chief executive Blake Solly.

“Anthony won the Dally M coach of the year when he was with us so clearly he is a talented coach who can get a team to achieve. He is a very good coach,” Solly said to the Daily Telegraph.

“The other side of that for us was that we were very disappointed with the way in which his move to Brisbane went down. It left a taste in our mouth. His pursuit of the Broncos job was probably less than transparent.

“Our disappointment was, in giving Anthony his opportunity to be a head coach, and the success he had in the 2018 season, we would have loved at the time for him to stay long-term. As it was, Anthony made a decision that he wanted to move to Brisbane and we were disappointed he did that.”

Asked whether Souths had forgiven Seibold for his messy exit out of Redfern, Solly said: “Forgiven but not forgotten. That might be an accurate description.

“I have seen comments from Anthony saying that he wished he never left Souths and that he learnt a lot from that experience. And, if he has, I’m sure he will have some success at Manly. I think we have all recognised that and, to Anthony’s credit, he realises he has made a mistake.

“In the end, we all move forward. Wayne (Bennett) was a wonderful coach here for three years and Jason (Demetriou) has shown what he is capable of this season. We haven’t really looked back but, at the same time, it was a difficult period for the club.”

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