Summer slog critical to Broncos’ 2020 hopes
Former Broncos halfback Scott Prince says the next few weeks will determine Brisbane's hopes for 2020.
Pre-season training has kicked off at Red Hill with several recruits already a week into it, such as Patrick Carrigan and Tom Dearden, while the more experienced group, including Jake Turpin, will head back on Friday.
Broncos boss Paul White told The Courier-Mail the entire playing group was "on notice" and warned heads could roll if they didn't lift their game as the club fights to break a 13-year premiership drought.
Since the 58-0 finals loss to Parramatta, the club has become embroiled in several issues during their off-season including an alleged assault charge against young gun forward David Fifita.
Former Broncos playmaker Prince said the players had to learn from the record loss to the Eels - the biggest loss in NRL finals history - if they were to improve next season.
Prince was involved in a 62-0 defeat to finish his debut NRL season with the Cowboys in 1998 and he said the pre-season was the pivotal period to turn things around.
"It's like that old saying in league that you're only as good as your last game," Prince said.
"You don't want a game like that going into a massive holiday because that really leaves a bad taste.
"This is the most important part of the season - it's not through the rounds, it's through the pre-season.
"I'm sure the coaching staff will drill that into them.
"This is where most of the work is done, this is where the growth is done. You're just building for the season.
"Hopefully they get a few wins early and take some pressure off at the back-end of the year."
North Queensland were coached by Tim Sheens at the time of the 62-point drubbing to North Sydney as the Cowboys finished in 16th spot.
Prince said advice from the former Kangaroos coach allowed him to go on and become a premiership winner and Queensland Origin representative.
"Tim Sheens used to tell me 'you're only a first-grader after you've played 100 games, up to that point you're still a rookie'," Prince said.
"It has stuck with me and it's true.
"When you look at the Broncos, the future looks great.
"Unfortunately with sport, with any business, people want success straight away.
"That's just the way it is and it's just pressure.
"For them, they have to hit the switch and play well - that's what they've got to do."