He’s almost cloned Michael Maguire’s career development and Rabbitohs assistant Anthony Seibold will be announced as the South Sydney coach’s replacement on Thursday.
The softly-spoken Seibold, who has quietly cultivated a coaching resume away from the harsh glare of the NRL head coaching spotlight, is set to rise to the helm of the proudest club in the league after Maguire’s Redfern exit was confirmed on Tuesday.
Seibold, 42, was shortlisted for the vacant Titans coaching job, but Rabbitohs officials have moved swiftly to lock up the highly regarded Queensland State of Origin assistant to lead South Sydney’s resurgence.
Rabbitohs officials will unveil Seibold at a scheduled press conference on Thursday morning.
The similarities between former teammates Maguire and Seibold are uncanny, the pair both serving apprenticeships under Craig Bellamy at the Melbourne Storm.
They were teammates at Canberra in 1998 during Seibold’s only season in the NRL.
But the little-known Seibold, who served as Trent Barrett’s understudy at Manly last year before joining the Rabbitohs and was hand picked by Kevin Walters to be a Maroons assistant for the last two years, is said to vary greatly in his methods from the famous disciplinarian in Maguire.
“I think he is really good to be honest,” Queensland Origin star Darius Boyd said. “He knows a lot about his footy and gets along well with the players.
“We’ve had him at Origin for two years now and I have been really impressed with what he has done.
“It’s easier when you are an assistant, I don’t know what he is like as a full- time coach but around the blokes at Origin he is quiet but gets through what he needs to say and gets his point across.”
The future of Maguire, who was said to be caught off guard by the Rabbitohs’ decision to cut him loose, doesn’t appear as bright in the immediate future despite interest from English Super League club Warrington.
It’s understood the Titans are reluctant to pursue a coach who employs the similar hard nosed methods of ex-boss Neil Henry, meaning Maguire could be forced to bide his time if he decided to remain in .
But with a resume which is highlighted by being South Sydney’s drought breaker, opportunities are sure to present themselves.
Seibold’s career path might mirror one of the most unlikely elevations to NRL head coaching having completed a Bachelor of Teaching after his retirement from playing.
He has previously spoken about his tertiary qualifications and passion for teaching as a great grounding for rugby league, perhaps not too different to one of the most successful coaches in the modern NRL era in under fire Bulldogs clipboard carrier Des Hasler.
The Rabbitohs have never hidden their desire to promote coaches from within their own system and Seibold, who is set to be guided by current South Sydney assistant David Furner, fits the bill.
The central Queensland-raised Seibold will welcome back a fit-again Greg Inglis next year while the Rabbitohs’ capture of Knights star Dane Gagai has filled their fans with hope they can return to the finals after two years outside the top eight.
The support for Maguire from ex-players continued on Wednesday with Eels’ centre Kirisome Auva’a hailing the coach’s influence on his career.
“He was a really good mentor and a father figure given I was an interstate boy moving to Souths from the Storm,” Auva’a said. “He being there, he looked after me off field and obviously on the field as well. It’s sad to see him leave, he’s obviously done good for the club.”