Broncos coach Anthony Seibold came underfire from Phil Gould. Picture: Darren England
Broncos coach Anthony Seibold came underfire from Phil Gould. Picture: Darren England

White hits back at Gould’s savage Seibold spray

Brisbane boss Paul White has turned up the heat on the players to return the club to the top four as Phil Gould took aim at coach Anthony Seibold, claiming the Broncos' football is "failing" over a "clash of cultures".

White insists the Broncos are not in crisis and says while Seibold will not tear up contracts as part of a club review, the Brisbane chief executive challenged the underfire squad to deliver a top-four finish in 2020.

Pressure is building on the Broncos in the wake of their season-ending 58-0 finals debacle against Parramatta which extended Brisbane's premiership drought to a club record 13 years.

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Underlining their struggle to win a title, Broncos skipper Darius Boyd, now 32, is the only survivor of Brisbane's most recent premiership win way back in 2006.

The Broncos scrambled to eighth spot in 2019 with just 25 competition points and will effectively field the same roster next year, but White is confident an attitude overhaul can ignite a top-four and title charge.

"We set ourselves a target (annually) of being a top-four team for a reason and we want to be a top-four club next year," White told Channel 9's 100% Footy.

"I'm very confident and excited as well (about 2020).

"I know what we have built and are still building. I have enormous confidence in the capabilities of the whole organisation.

 

Brisbane Broncos CEO Paul White defended Seibold. Picture: Dan Peled
Brisbane Broncos CEO Paul White defended Seibold. Picture: Dan Peled

 

"We will start next year and we will be a real chance. We won't be starting the year with people not thinking these guys are a chance to win the comp."

But two-time premiership-winning coach Gould does not share White's confidence.

Gould, NSW's greatest Origin coach and Channel 9's leading analyst, lashed Brisbane's playing style and structure under Seibold's maiden year in charge at Red Hill and pointed the finger at the Broncos coach.

"I think their football has failed in a number of areas during the course of the season," said Gould, who won premierships at Canterbury and Penrith.

"Primarily, they need playmakers - they don't deny that fact that they need people to control the game.

"For me football wise, technically, the type of football they play, and the way they defend and the lack of structure in their attack and the lack of understanding in their attack is something they are still glossing over a little bit.

 

Gould took aim at Brisbane’s playing style. Picture: Tony Feder
Gould took aim at Brisbane’s playing style. Picture: Tony Feder

 

"That's a coaching issue.

"That's just a personal opinion, the coach has to come to terms with that with his staff.

"It's quite obvious that they have recruited this coach because they feel the modern game needs modern thinking ... a modern-day structure type of coach instead of the older Wayne Bennett (Seibold's Broncos predecessor), older style older theories.

"Right at the moment you have a mix of players who have come through the Bennett regime and a lot of young blokes who come through and appreciate the structure and the technicality of the younger coach.

"I think there is a clash of cultures at the moment.

"Because it (Seibold's methods) is not winning and not successful, it's like, 'Who is on board and who's not' and that's what they are working out as a club.

"They are going to back the coach 100 per cent because they believe that's the type of coach they need for the future.

"From what I understand, the majority of the players are on board with it, but there are a few players who are struggling to come to terms with playing football (Seibold's) way and understanding what he means by it.

"As a club they look united ... Paul (White) is a very talented individual. As a business, they are flying, it's easily our biggest club in the league."

White confirmed the club is in the market for a halfback to help 18-year-old Tom Dearden but insists there will not be a shake-up of the Broncos' roster.

"Definitely not mass changes," he said.

"You have a look at the emerging playing group and players like Kotoni Staggs and David Fifita and Payne Haas.

"They have come through our system, they want to play together and win competitions.

"That's the nucleus of our immediate future, we will be in the player market, yes we will. It's a fluid market, there will be a lot of clubs in that market and we will be one of them.

"I've been here for nine years and we're certainly not in crisis."