Jack Bird enters a new NRL season with confidence in his body and clarity about the position he will play and credits Wayne Bennett and Anthony Seibold for providing that surety.
Last year Bird played just eight NRL games for the Broncos where he lined up at left centre, right centre, five-eighth and halfback, all the while hampered by an ongoing sternum injury.
It was after the round 10 clash with the Sea Eagles that Bennett sat Bird down and told him to get himself right no matter how long it took.
"When I was playing bad footy I had a lot of demons and just had to get myself right physically and mentally… and Wayne was a big part of that. He could have kept making me play but after the Manly game he was the one who told me to take some time out and get my sternum fixed," Bird told NRL.com.
"It was a big confidence booster because most coaches would have probably wanted you to play but Wayne said to sit out even if it was going to take all year.
"I wanted to be out there every minute of every week but I knew if I’d stayed and kept playing it would have made matters worse. I got my sternum fixed and knew I didn’t have to prove anything to anyone."
Broncos' top five tries of 2018
Bird had successful sternum surgery and when Seibold arrived in early December he then told Bird he wanted him to train at left centre and prepare to play there in 2019.
For a player who has slotted in all over the park it was music to Bird's ears.
"When [Seibold] he arrived we had a little talk. He sat me down and said he wants me to play left centre, and I was happy with that," Bird said after Broncos training on Tuesday
"The clarity is good. I know where I will be playing. Ever since I was young I have always been shopping around in positions, I was playing back row, centre, fullback, five-eighth. Probably the only positions I haven't played are front row, right wing and hooker but to have the clarity is something that you need coming into an NRL competition.
"I have been training at left centre so I am comfortable and confident with it."
Bird, who had been a right side centre in the past, said he knew that James Roberts was the right centre at the Broncos and that he accepted that.
His left-to-right pass has always been more accomplished than his right-to-left but Bird has been fine-tuning that skill at training.
Lodge ready for the games to begin
With his sternum injury behind him, Bird is now optimistic about returning to the kind of form that saw him selected for NSW and that was integral to the Cronulla Sharks' inaugural premiership in 2016.
"Last year was a year to forget but that just makes me stronger," Bird said.
"I have had injuries before when I was younger so I knew I would get through the tough times, but last year was pretty tough for myself both mentally and physically.
"I have overcome that and am confident and feeling good so hopefully I have a good season and can prove to everyone that I can get back to the footy I know I am capable of playing."