NRL premiership winner Scott Sattler insists Wynnum Manly Seagulls sensation Edene Gebbie will thrive at South Sydney Rabbitohs next year where his style of play will fit in perfectly with the ethos of coach Wayne Bennett.
In 21 games this year the 24-year-old fullback has scored 19 tries, made 21 line breaks and a stunning 162 tackle breaks. It was that red hot form that also saw him make his international debut for the PNG Kumuls in the Oceania Cup.
The former PNG Hunters star will play fullback for the Seagulls in the Intrust Super Cup grand final against Burleigh at Dolphin Stadium before linking with the Rabbitohs on a two-year deal.
Sattler, the son of South Sydney legend John Sattler, said the Rabbitohs would be the right club for Gebbie to shine.
Gebbie will have a fight on his hands next year with Alex Johnston and Adam Doueihi in the Rabbitohs squad but Sattler said Bennett would enjoy coaching him.
"Edene can be a success because he hasn’t been tainted by huge expectations and advanced training early on his life. He is focused on the basics and the basics get you through," Sattler said.
"The harder it gets the simpler you have to make it. He hasn’t been over-coached and Wayne Bennett is all about simplicity. He wants players to be aware of your position, aware of your role, be aggressive, don’t miss tackles and be there for your mate. Edene is so special because he has kept things really simple."
Run hard, break tackles, score tries. Gebbie, who has averaged 208 running metres this year, can do all that but what has impressed Sattler is his instinct for the game.
"His positioning as a fullback is as good as any fullback playing in the Intrust Super Cup and will only get better with advanced coaching," Sattler said.
"His kick-returns are amazing, just with the athleticism he shows and his change of direction as well.
"On the fifth and last against Redcliffe in the qualifying final he took off from dummy half and instead of kicking it for the sake of it he noticed the fullback was deep. So he grubbered it through, picked it up and gave it to the winger who scored under the goal posts. So his awareness and ability to think on the run is exceptional.
"What has really impressed me in his first year at Wynnum has been his ability to learn and develop really quickly because when the Papua New Guinean kids come from the system up there it can take them a while to progress to another level of awareness and development.
"He hasn’t missed a beat and looks like he has been in a system for quite a while. It may be that he did get a really good basic introduction to the game in PNG that didn’t try and complicate things."
Electrifying Edene! Gebbie lights up the field
The Seagulls have gone out of their way to make Gebbie feel at home since arriving at the club as coach Adam Brideson explained.
"We are fortunate enough to have a couple of houses just behind our football club so Edene has moved in and is living with a couple of other players so he feels really welcome," Brideson said.
"Typically those houses are for academy players or those from regional areas and other countries so it gave Edene a good, stable environment where he can go home and get to training three days a week.
"It was just about trying to make an environment for him to train the best way he possibly could. He is a fantastic athlete so we tried to put some simple structures around him and make sure that he felt welcome. His running game has been fantastic and he has scored some dynamic tries this year. He has really been a great asset for our club."
Wynnum Manly captain Mitch Cronin said he was just glad he had Gebbie in his side and hoped his last game for the club was a blinder.
"He is a freak. Whenever we have needed something to come out of nowhere he has delivered,” Cronin said.
"Edene has been outstanding all year and probably the best fullback and buy of the year as well. He runs for over 200 metres each game and does things that other people can’t. He is the X-factor that every team needs. Hopefully he is on this Sunday."
Match: WM Seagulls v Bears
Grand Final -
Venue: Dolphin Stadium, Brisbane