Broncos coach Anthony Seibold has detailed the "challenging decision" he made to leave South Sydney but insists he will take on his former playing group on Thursday night in the knowledge they remain friends.
In the wake of Brisbane's 29-6 win over Cronulla on Saturday night, Seibold was put under the microscope ahead of the "grudge match" against his old club and former Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett.
"There is no extra feeling or extra meaning for me. I'm looking forward to the challenge because I know how talented a group there is down there," Seibold said.
"They are genuinely good blokes. It has been great to see Cody Walker, Damien Cook and those guys play great football this year because I still consider those guys friends.
"As far as a grudge match ... I'm not sure it has any extra meaning for me but I am sure the media will make a big deal about it."
Seibold left a side that was one win away from a grand final and on the way up, as evidenced by their form this year where the Rabbitohs are joint competition leaders.
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South Sydney CEO Shane Richardson told NRL.com this year that the club had done everything in its power to re-sign Seibold before he elected not to take up their offer and have a crack at the Broncos job.
Seibold confirmed how hard it was to make the call to exit a club that was a genuine premiership contender.
"It was a really challenging decision, no doubt about that, but essentially I wanted to come home and be closer to family," he said.
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"I consider the Broncos to be home. I started here when I was 17. There were a lot of things to weigh up but I enjoyed my time down there immensely.
"I loved what we did last year. We couldn't quite get the job done and win a premiership but I feel as though I worked my backside off. My focus now is here at the Broncos."
While the win over the Sharks was Brisbane's first since round two, Seibold insisted he hadn't deviated from the approach he started the year with.
"I feel as though I have been pretty controlled and composed the last couple of weeks," he said.
"If you talked to the playing group I have tried to be really consistent. I don't think I worry about the wins and the losses.
"What I concern myself with are what areas we can be better with and what are we doing well, and narrow our focus from there. That hasn't changed. I am really process driven with my coaching."
Seibold's press conference went for just under 10 minutes and ended when he was asked about an off-season comment where he said he'd left Souths on good terms with his playing group.
"I am not sure what that question is about. I've spoken to a lot of the players since then. You'd have to ask them. I’m not sure where that question comes from ... so I'll leave it at that," he said.
That was the end of the press conference but it won't be the end of the build-up to the clash at ANZ Stadium on Thursday night.