Broncos recruit SAS soldier to find pack leaders
THE Broncos have turned to a former SAS soldier to help put Brisbane's stars through leadership training as the club prepares for life after skipper Darius Boyd.
Adam Walsh, formerly one of the Australian Army's most-skilled operators, is part of a mentoring program designed to ensure the Broncos do not suffer a leadership crisis under the new regime of Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold.
Former Brisbane skipper Darren Lockyer delivered a candid critique of the club a fortnight ago, saying the Broncos needed more leaders to break the club's 13-year premiership drought.
Seibold has moved to bolster the club's senior decision-making core, installing a four-strong leadership group comprising Boyd, Andrew McCullough, Alex Glenn and Matt Gillett.
Now Walsh is playing an active role in cultivating another wave of potential Broncos skippers.
Prior to working as Brisbane's welfare manager, Walsh served in the Special Air Service, an elite regiment reserved only for Australia's most psychologically resilient soldiers.
Skipper Boyd is off-contract at the end of 2021, giving Seibold and Walsh time to preside over a succession plan that involves mentoring the likes of Anthony Milford, Kodi Nikorima and Matt Lodge.
"We've got an emerging program of leaders in place," Seibold said.
"We have four strong leaders already in Darius, Andrew McCullough, Alex Glenn and Matt Gillett, but we also understand we have to identify four or five players who show emerging leadership qualities.
"We have an emerging leadership group that has been doing work with a guy called Adam Walsh. He is our head of welfare and education and a former SAS soldier.
"It's always important that you prepare for the future and give players some responsibility."
Seibold has been impressed by the reformation of former bad boy Lodge, who at 23 has the ability to spearhead Brisbane's pack for the next decade.
"Matt Lodge is one guy who has stood out," he said.
"It takes time for guys to mature.
"But certainly we need to identify over the next 12 to 24 months the guys that will go into our leadership group and this is all part of the process.
"I need to get to know the players and see who leads with their actions."
Glenn said: "I know 'Darbs' is the captain, so the way I like to lead is through my actions. I've always been like that."
Boyd, who turns 32 in July, is confident the Broncos will have a number of captaincy candidates to succeed him.
"We have a group of guys developing as leaders," he said.
"I see blokes like Kodi and 'Milf' who are starting to grow as leaders. I've noticed them showing the way a bit more at training, especially being in two such crucial positions, they need to be talking more.
"Matt Lodge is only young, but he has a wise head for a young guy and the other forwards already look up to him.
" 'Seibs' wants everyone to know their role in the team and if each guy does their job, it takes pressure off the leadership group."