NEWS Bird credits Bennett and Seibold for getting his mojo back

Foordy

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Bird credits Bennett and Seibold for getting his mojo back

Joel Gould
Tues 29 Jan 2019


Jack Bird enters a new NRL season with confidence in his body and clarity about the position he will play and credits Wayne Bennett and Anthony Seibold for providing that surety.

Last year Bird played just eight NRL games for the Broncos where he lined up at left centre, right centre, five-eighth and halfback, all the while hampered by an ongoing sternum injury.

It was after the round 10 clash with the Sea Eagles that Bennett sat Bird down and told him to get himself right no matter how long it took.

"When I was playing bad footy I had a lot of demons and just had to get myself right physically and mentally… and Wayne was a big part of that. He could have kept making me play but after the Manly game he was the one who told me to take some time out and get my sternum fixed," Bird told NRL.com.

"It was a big confidence booster because most coaches would have probably wanted you to play but Wayne said to sit out even if it was going to take all year.

"I wanted to be out there every minute of every week but I knew if I’d stayed and kept playing it would have made matters worse. I got my sternum fixed and knew I didn’t have to prove anything to anyone."

Bird had successful sternum surgery and when Seibold arrived in early December he then told Bird he wanted him to train at left centre and prepare to play there in 2019.

For a player who has slotted in all over the park it was music to Bird's ears.

"When [Seibold] he arrived we had a little talk. He sat me down and said he wants me to play left centre, and I was happy with that," Bird said after Broncos training on Tuesday

"The clarity is good. I know where I will be playing. Ever since I was young I have always been shopping around in positions, I was playing back row, centre, fullback, five-eighth. Probably the only positions I haven't played are front row, right wing and hooker but to have the clarity is something that you need coming into an NRL competition.

"I have been training at left centre so I am comfortable and confident with it."

Bird, who had been a right side centre in the past, said he knew that James Roberts was the right centre at the Broncos and that he accepted that.

His left-to-right pass has always been more accomplished than his right-to-left but Bird has been fine-tuning that skill at training.

With his sternum injury behind him, Bird is now optimistic about returning to the kind of form that saw him selected for NSW and that was integral to the Cronulla Sharks' inaugural premiership in 2016.

"Last year was a year to forget but that just makes me stronger," Bird said.

"I have had injuries before when I was younger so I knew I would get through the tough times, but last year was pretty tough for myself both mentally and physically.

"I have overcome that and am confident and feeling good so hopefully I have a good season and can prove to everyone that I can get back to the footy I know I am capable of playing."

source: NRL.com
 

Jedhead

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He's had almost a year to talk the talk. Let's hope he does not go too hard out the gate and do himself another injury. Bit of a deadly combination if him and big Oatsey hit it off. Hope he's putting plenty of right to,left passing drills in.
 

Stu_9

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Bird is looking fit, from what I saw yesterday.
I think last year there was a lot of expectation on him (granted) and he talked the talk and ended up being a year to forget.
Something feels different about 2019 though, I think he will be one of our best - as long as he stays relatively injury free, fit and has a genuine dig.
 

Marty Deutschmann

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Bird is looking fit, from what I saw yesterday.
I think last year there was a lot of expectation on him (granted) and he talked the talk and ended up being a year to forget.
Something feels different about 2019 though, I think he will be one of our best - as long as he stays relatively injury free, fit and has a genuine dig.
Haha that's literally an executive summary of the entire article
 

Sproj

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He is going to be such an asset for us. I keep saying it, but people forget how good he actually is because of last year.
He was very good...as a RIGHT centre. Let’s see how he actually goes on the left. I still think he was a waste of money but certainly want to be proven wrong.
 

Big Pete

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Whatever expectations that were placed on Bird last year surely had to subside when the full extent of his shoulder injury was discovered? The injury wiped out his entire pre-season preventing Bennett from fulfilling his promise and giving Bird more responsibility.

Sure, it was embarrassing on the Broncos behalf that they weren't aware of the sternum injury ahead of time (much like the Gillett situation) but the should was always going to limit Jack's input. Surely he'll have a better second stint because right now he's on track to becoming the biggest bust in Broncos history.
 

Sproj

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Whatever expectations that were placed on Bird last year surely had to subside when the full extent of his shoulder injury was discovered? The injury wiped out his entire pre-season preventing Bennett from fulfilling his promise and giving Bird more responsibility.

Sure, it was embarrassing on the Broncos behalf that they weren't aware of the sternum injury ahead of time (much like the Gillett situation) but the should was always going to limit Jack's input. Surely he'll have a better second stint because right now he's on track to becoming the biggest bust in Broncos history.
To be fair, it will take something special to take that title from Martin Kennedy. Jack Bird is a really good football player but he is overrated. He is a really good right centre, the Broncs already have one of those.

Now, if the plan had been to shift Roberts to fb and slot Bird in at right centre, now we're talking...but it wasn't and isn't the plan.

Jack Bird at present though is very much a bust, hopefully he changes a few of our minds this season, I for one really want him to do so.
 

JAHHW

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To be fair, it will take something special to take that title from Martin Kennedy. Jack Bird is a really good football player but he is overrated. He is a really good right centre, the Broncs already have one of those.

Now, if the plan had been to shift Roberts to fb and slot Bird in at right centre, now we're talking...but it wasn't and isn't the plan.

Jack Bird at present though is very much a bust, hopefully he changes a few of our minds this season, I for one really want him to do so.
Richard Swain also comes to mind, as do Motu Tony and Ben Barba.

Oh, Joel Clinton and also anyone with the surname Sims.
 
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Sproj

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Richard Swain also comes to mind, as do Motu Tony and Ben Barba.

Oh, Joel Clinton and also anyone with the surname Sims.
Yep, some shockers in there but seriously, Martin Kennedy was on another level to all of them. In Barba's case, given how good he was at the Dogs before and Sharks after, it certainly wouldn't be hard to argue his problems were more coaching and bulking related.
 

Big Pete

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With the exception of Barba, none of those players were on the money Bird is reportedly on.

In Barba's case, given how good he was at the Dogs before and Sharks after
Barba was poor from 2013 through to 15, 2014 wasn't an anamoly.
 
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Sproj

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With the exception of Barba, none of those players were on the money Bird is reportedly on.



Barba was poor from 2013 through to 15, 2014 wasn't an anamoly.
Fair points but Kennedy was on decent money, he was trumpeted as a marquee signing.
 

Big Pete

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Fair points but Kennedy was on decent money, he was trumpeted as a marquee signing.
Decent, not extravagent.

In fairness, Barba wasn't on much when he was active, but he was on a back-ended deal which meant the Broncos had to heavily subsidise his Sharks deal. The Broncos essentially paid him to go win a premiership at another club, it doesn't get much worse in terms of value for money.
 

Big Pete

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IIRC Kennedy was on $450k a year. That was Hodges money.
It depends on how the deal was structured. Originally it was reported that the Broncos signed him on a $1 million three year deal. On average that's just over 330K a season, but most likely it was a back-ended deal where he was set to earn more later on. Kennedy may have been in line to earn 400K in those years, but he didn't earn that amount in his one season at the club.

Now if the Broncos had to honour 2015-16, then he'd enter the equation, but I can't imagine the Broncos had to once the NRL and eventually ASADA suspended him. Nothing official was ever announced, but surely clubs have a right to terminate a drug cheats contract?
 

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