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'Incredibly tough decision': Brideson and Dobson to farewell Wynnum Manly

The Wynnum Manly Seagulls will begin an immediate process to recruit a new Hostplus Cup head coach after long-serving coach Adam Brideson made the difficult decision to step away to spend more time with his family.

Brideson has overseen a period of great success and taken the Seagulls to back-to-back Cup grand finals.

His departure at the end of this season will see a changing of the guard in the Seagulls' coaching ranks, with highly regarded Hastings Deering Colts coach Michael Dobson to also leave to take up an opportunity in the NRL.

Brideson had been weighing up the offer of a multi-year extension to remain with the club, however the challenges of balancing work, coaching and family were the deciding factor in his decision to walk away.

Brideson played for the Seagulls from 2008-2009, captaining the club and winning Player of the Year in each season.

After coaching the Seagulls Colts under Paul Green and a stint with the Brisbane Broncos youth system, Brideson became head coach of the Seagulls in 2017.

After overseeing a rebuild of the club, Brideson has been in charge during an incredibly successful period for Wynnum Manly, featuring in consecutive grand finals, winning the Club Championship in 2021, and laying a pathway for more than 20 players and staff into the NRL.

Brideson coached his 100th game for Wynnum Manly earlier in the year and after six seasons as head coach will be the most capped coach for the club in the Cup era.

“This was an incredibly tough decision for me,” Brideson said.

“Footy has been my life ever since I was a teenager and to not be at training through the week and at the games every weekend is going to be very strange. But with my work commitments and kids growing up the juggle has become increasingly difficult.

“I owe it to my family, who have sacrificed so much for me to pursue my dreams in rugby league, to give a bit back to them.”

Dobson has secured an exciting opportunity with an NRL club and will also depart at the end of the season.

The former Seagulls halfback has been an assistant to Brideson since retiring in 2018 and coached the Colts to a premiership in 2021 in his first season in charge of a team.

Dobson would have been a natural successor to Brideson were it not for a great career opportunity that was presented to him.

CEO Hanan Laban said both coaches have left a positive impact on the club.

“Adam and Michael are true club men, who have made huge contributions to the Seagulls,” Laban said.

“Adam is a former player and has had an association with the club spanning over 14 years. As head coach he has created a high performance culture at the club, which has led to team success and outstanding player development.

“Whilst it is sad to see him go, it is testament to Adam’s character that he is stepping away from his passion to spend more time with his family.

“Michael has received a great opportunity and he will be an asset to his new club.

“He has done a great job managing our pathways and bringing through local talent from community football through to NRL opportunities.

“We wish both Adam and Michael well, they will always be Seagulls, and look forward to finishing off the season together, hopefully with a premiership.”

Main image: Adam Brideson with CEO Hanan Laban. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL

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