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Griffin almost walked away from coaching

By Wayne Heming 08/04/2011 06:36:22 PM Comments (0)

A disillusioned Anthony Griffin almost walked away from coaching in 2002.

On Friday he secured his future as head coach of one of Australia's highest-profile sporting teams, the Brisbane Broncos.

In the space of 24 hours the unassuming Griffin went from "caretaker" coach to long-term coach after Wayne Bennett closed the door on a return to the club he led to six premierships between 1988 and 2006.

But it could have been so different for Griffin, who considered giving coaching away after being sacked as an assistant by Melbourne in 2002.

"When I got sacked at Melbourne when Craig (Bellamy) came down, it was a reality check for me," Griffin told AAP after the club announced a two-year extension of his contract.

"Had I stopped coaching then, I was gone.

"I remember flying home from Melbourne with my wife Helen and the kids to no job after being a full-time coach for nine years up to that point.

"I was in a fairly good role but I took myself too seriously back then and was way ahead of myself.

"I had to have a reality check about whether I could earn a crust and still believed in myself enough to keep coaching.

"I've got that belief now. I'm not saying I'm better than anyone else, but I know what I'm doing, I know what my strengths are and I know what my weakness are."

After weighing up his options, Griffin went door knocking for a job in 2003.

Fortunately one opened at Brisbane Souths, a club Bennett enjoyed a lot of success at before launching his NRL career with Canberra and then Brisbane.

"I remember we had $5,000 to spend on players that year," he laughed, with his new Broncos player budget close to $4 million.

Griffin, who is yet to talk dollars with the Broncos, said he had fully expected Bennett to be coaching the club next season.

"I have to give Paul (chief executive Paul White) and the board credit about the transparency in which they have conducted themselves," he said.

"I knew I was here in a caretaker role having got this job by default of another decision.

"I thought Wayne was a very big chance of coming back and I'd resigned myself to that happening."

Despite the drama surrounding his appointment, Griffin said his thoughts were focused on Brisbane's clash with Newcastle on Monday night.

"I know today's a big day for the club but we've got a big game on Monday night and all this stuff will be over and it will come down to how we compete against the Knights.

"I feel great, it's hard to explain.

"You spend all your life trying to get somewhere and you're there now.

"I know I haven't coached at this level before but to get here I've had to go around the block a few times.

"I've been hired a few times and that will help me when the pressure comes on and I know it will.

"That's part of professional coaching and I'll handle that when it comes."

Sounds a little like Wayne Bennett.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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