Rabbitohs coach Anthony Seibold is known for his innovation, new ideas and introducing training procedures such as Tactical Periodisation into the Club’s training regime.
The boss at Redfern is looking to further the development of the younger players in his squad, with a little help from his friends from the Port Adelaide AFL club. Port Adelaide will be joining forces with the Rabbitohs at Redfern Oval from the 4th to the 7th of December to partake in combined sessions.
“We’ve invited the Port Adelaide AFL club to come across, so fourteen of their players are going to come and spend three days with our guys, along with a couple of their coaches, led by their Head of Football and Coaching Development Aaron Greaves," said Seibold.
"I’ve had a long association with ‘Greavesy’ from the days I worked in Melbourne, where he worked at the Melbourne Demons, and we’ve always done a lot of professional development with each other in the period of time.
“Something we successfully did when I was at the Storm was when we had Port Adelaide come across in 2015, so we think it would be a good fit for both clubs to spend a little bit of time with each other. Obviously we’ll have some combined sessions, but it won’t affect what we are trying to do in our own preparation for the NRL season.”
While both the NRL and AFL are beloved by Australians all across the country there is plenty of contrast between the two sports. However, ‘Seibs’ has pinpointed the benefits for both halves and outside backs.
The sessions, which include a series of conditioning, grappling and tackling activities and AFL/NRL hybrid games, will be beneficial for the younger players of the squad, to not only improve their skills but to also get an understanding of the processes of a sporting club from a different code.
“We’re actually going to do three combined sessions; two of them are kicking and catching sessions, so obviously our halves are our kickers and our outside backs are our catchers,” he said.
“We are going to do two combined sessions there and then our third session will be a hybrid session so we’ve actually come up with a couple of games that we’ve used before when League guys and AFL guys have trained in a few hybrid games that are great for skills and conditioning.
"We are going to play them on Thursday. On Tuesday and also on Thursday we are going spend a little time together doing some kick-catch.”
Recently Port Adelaide have ranked as a top 20 world leader in sports innovation, particularly as they venture into the Chinese sports market by taking a historic game to Shanghai in early 2018.
Seibold says while the experience will reap its benefits on the field, it will also help ensure a healthy relationship between the two proud Clubs off the field with the shared learning an opportunity to both teach and learn in order to improve as sporting organisations.
“It’s great for us here at Redfern to welcome Port Adelaide, they had a really good year last year and they’ve recruited well. We will see a lot of their younger players over here with us, so first, second and third year players will be coming across, and like I said it's going be of great benefit to our guys - particularly our kickers and catchers,” he said.
“As I said, I went across to Port Adelaide last January and spent a couple days there. Ken Hinkley, the head coach there, has always been very generous with his time whenever I’ve gone across, and Aaron Greaves, as I said, who is the Director of Coaching and Development at the club, he’s always been very generous of his time as well so it’s been a long association for myself with those I guys.
“I think the first time I went across there was in 2013, so I think it’s innovative and great for both coaching staffs to get together and share some ideas and develop professionally, but more importantly it’s a great opportunity for our players to see how another code and another professional sport go about their business, and they can see what we do here at the Rabbitohs as well and get plenty of shared learning.’’