New HQ to drive Brisbane Broncos' title quest
A means to the end goal of winning premierships.
That is a major rationale behind the new $27.2 million Brisbane Broncos training, administration and community facility which the club hopes will give it an extra edge in its quest for a seventh Telstra Premiership.
Broncos CEO Paul White made that point loud and clear at the official opening of the Clive Berghofer Centre on Friday, a project made possible through state and federal government funding, the Broncos club, donors and the generosity of philanthropist Clive Berghofer.
The facility has all the bells and whistle and everything that opens and shuts – including a massive state-of-the art gymnasium, recovery pools, and a sauna that can fit the entire side.
There is a sleeping room for players to take power naps and a half basketball court.
The immaculate training field looks a picture and the players will train there from early March.
All that is well and good, but in his speech at the opening White noted the plain concrete interior on the walls of the gym, a reminder to the players that “they are here to work”.
"The chairs in our players' theatre are not exactly ones you’d sit in to watch a two-hour movie," White said.
"They feel more like office chairs because it is a place to pay attention.
"In the foyer you see the six premiership trophies and an empty plinth, awaiting the next title.
"Regardless of how many premierships we may win at this club there will always be an extra plinth in that foyer, because we are always striving for something more."
White said that desire for success had been at the club since its initial training base nearby, which was then nothing more than a tin shed.
"That old shed and this new building aren’t too far removed. Why? Because they have one thing in common, the absolute quality of the people who work inside them," he said.
One of those quality people is new recruit Sam Tagataese who said he’d been "blown away" by the facility and that it far exceeded anything he’d experienced at the Titans or Sharks.
"This is first class and in my career, the best I’ve experienced," he said.
Tagataese said he was enjoying the new innovations, like the sleeping room.
"I’ve had a little power snooze in there and 30 minutes is good, but anything longer is heading into that zone where I feel worse off,” he grinned.
"Anything that can give us that extra one per cent and that edge in our recovery will be beneficial.
"At the old facility the Broncos still won premierships, so entering into this bigger facility there are going to be high expectations."
Inaugural Broncos CEO John Ribot said the scale of the Broncos operation now dwarfed what the club started with in 1988.
"We probably started with three or four staff and took the leagues club over and had a little office downstairs, where there were more birds in the office than there were bodies. They used to fly in and out of the office," Ribot told NRL.com.
"In the early days when the four directors were involved they were going to run this with [former director] Steve Williams running it a few days a week outside his advertising agency, and pump the footballs up and put the jerseys on.
"We all soon realised it was going to take more than that."
Ribot said the facility was "state-of-the-art" compared to the basic tin shed the Broncos started in.
"I have been fortunate to go all around the world and, on scale, this is very similar to what the Denver Broncos [NFL club] have got," he said.
"It is cutting edge and they certainly can’t blame the facilities now, but people win you premierships. These [facilities] help you.
"Just seeing this gym with the way they have set it up with the concrete, there is a message there. I think it is really smart."
White, when speaking to media, made it clear what the Broncos were all about.
"It is the goal every year to win a premiership," White said.
"This club has been established on success. It is about success. We want to win the premiership."