Anthony Griffin said he holds no grudges against Brisbane after being sacked as coach of the NRL club last year to make way for the return of supercoach Wayne Bennett to Red Hill.
Griffin was unveiled as Ivan Cleary’s successor as Penrith coach on Wednesday in a three-year deal and was quick to address his exit from the Broncos before wanting to move on.
After fielding a few questions from reporters about his time with the Broncos, Griffin said he wouldn’t answer any more. However he did take the time to say he felt no ill-will to the club that gave him his start in the NRL.
“It is a brutal business and that is coaching,” Griffin said.
“I didn’t do a lot of harm up there, I left the Broncos in a better place than I found them. Good luck to them I have never said anything wrong about the place, I have never felt anything wrong about the place, I did my job when I was there and I am looking forward to the next chapter.”
Griffin admitted his sacking was hard to take, but he always wanted to get back into the NRL. He spent 2015 coaching with Queensland Cup side Redcliffe.
“I was gutted at the time, I spent seven years there and I still am close friends with a lot of people there,” he said.
“I soon realised that I wanted to get back into coaching so it’s been a long year from that point of view. It certainly didn’t deter me from the challenge of competing at the highest level.
“Although it hurt I had a broad view of things and realised it was one chapter on my career that had closed and I was looking for the next up until a couple of days ago.”
Penrith executive manager Phil Gould said Griffin had been his one and only target. Gould said Griffin could take much of the credit for helping develop the Broncos side that lost this year’s grand final to North Queensland.
“He was the one I had in mind, I was pleased he was available and I was pleased he accepted the invitation. I didn’t want to go through a long drawn out process,” Gould said.
Penrith NSW Cup coach Garth Brennan has been promoted and will be Griffin’s assistant.