Anthony Seibold believes he can help Luke Brooks recapture the form that saw him named Dally M Halfback of the Year in 2018. The Manly coach says Brooks' confidence has been decimated after the struggles of the Wests Tigers weighed heavily on the former Tiger.
Brooks scored 45 tries in 205 NRL games for the Tigers spanning 11 seasons and was often made the scapegoat for the club's poor performances. The 28-year-old has since moved to the Sea Eagles to start afresh and will partner Daly Cherry-Evans in the halves in 2024.
Seibold believes Brooks was unfairly criticised at the Tigers and his focus has been on showing him some love since his move to Brookvale. "The first thing that we've tried to do is welcome Brooksey with open arms and show him a little bit of love," Seibold told SEN 1170 Sportsday.
"He's a super talented player, think back to 2018 and he was the Dally M Halfback of the year, he's been heavily critiqued over his career and in some ways the forefront of a lot of criticism of the Wests Tigers not making the finals.
"We know he's a hell of a player… we want him to feel like he’s a Manly player, he just needs to come to our club, work hard, have a smile on his face and enjoy his footy again. I think Tom (Trbojevic) and (Daly Cherry-Evans) will help take his game to the next level we feel, we’ve got a great coaching staff as well, particularly Michael Ennis who is working with (him)."
The Manly coach is confident that being around quality players will ease the pressure on him both internally and externally and ultimately help him live up to his potential. "We feel as though we can get the best out of him," Seibold said. "We just want him to come and enjoy his footy again, it’s been a tough slog for Brooksey for a little period of time, you saw some of his performances this year before he hurt his hamstring. The two that stood out for me were the Tigers’ wins against the Panthers and the Cowboys, he’s a talented player, we’re just hoping that he enjoys his footy and not put too much pressure on him."
Sea Eagles owner puts complete faith in Seibold
Manly owner Scott Penn has admitted the 2023 campaign was well below par but says he is excited by what he has seen in the pre-season under Seibold's leadership. The Sea Eagles finished last season in 12th, winning just 11 games during Seibold's first season in charge but Penn says there are positive signs that he is turning things around.
Penn was filmed addressing the squad in the Sea Eagles’ pre-season documentary ‘The Manly Way' where he made the bold claim that he has never seen a better pre-season plan than the current one in place. "We are all excited to be back, we all felt like we left a little on the field last year," Penn said.
"But the important thing is Seibs (Seibold) has taken me through a lot of the planning for pre-season but more importantly the structure in terms of ease of understanding what’s going on. There's a really clear accountability for everyone so I've been doing this for a while now, 20 years.
"This is the best I’ve seen, but now it is over to you guys but I do genuinely want you to know this is the best structure we’ve ever had at the club. This is about the future and we want to show people what we are about… we want to get people excited about where we are heading."
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