There will be plenty of bickering, banter and brotherly love, but the Tumut Blues wouldn’t have it any other way with Dean and Lachlan Bristow set to steer the ship in 2020.
Dean Bristow had previously coached the Blues out of Group 9 oblivion to a premiership victory with Adam Pearce, but with the later of the two deciding to step away from coaching, a change was always on the cards for the reigning premiers
Blues president Bryan Black explained that it was actually meant to be another coaching duo leading the Blues in 2020, with Dean Bristow never meant to be one of the coaches
“Both Dean and Adam wanted to step aside and we approached Zac (Masters) and Hook (Lachlan Bristow), both were happy to do it together, but both wanted Dean involved as an advisor,” Black said.
“Then Zac left (for Queensland) and Hook was left to coach by himself but wanted Dean to help and that is how we ended up with Dean and Hook coaching.”
Black believes the addition of Lachlan will only help the Blues to new heights, with the former representative hooker calling on years of high-level rugby league representative experience.
“Hook is going to bring a different game style compared to what Dean was doing, and fitness wise, Hook has a few different ideas,” Black said.
“You could already see the difference during pre-season, the boys were tested but were enjoying something new.”
The Blues president said the subtle changes would help rejuvenate the Blues and keep them ticking over as the competition’s benchmark team.
“The change gets them away from that same routine they have done for the last few years with Dean and Adam, Hook will help change the way they train and play,” Black said.
Black did joke that a little trouble would be unavoidable, but believed both players were professional enough to push it aside when it mattered.
“Being brothers, I think they will blue and have some dramas but that is no different to any other aspect of life,” Black said.
“When it matters, they will be fine and on the paddock there won’t be any dramas.”
Black also expected the Bristow brothers to take on a different approach, both on and off the field, compared to the previous coaching partnership.
“There will be a big difference between Dean and Adam coaching compared to Dean and Hook,” Black said.
“Adam led on the park and Dean led at training, while Dean and Hook will be doing both and it will be interesting to see who becomes good cop, bad cop and who takes charge on the field.”
Lachlan isn’t worried about coaching with his brother, and suggested they would approach the 2020 season with very similar mindsets.
“A positive is having a like minded rugby league brain to bounce off,” Lachlan said.
“I lived with him throughout last year, we were always talking football and the majority of the time, we were on the same page.
Lachlan didn’t think there would be much of a difference in how things would be done, except for his amount of input, but he admitted he still had a little to learn in regards to player communication.
“Not much will change in terms of our discussions that revolve around the team, I guess this year though, I’ll just be able to have a little bit more of an input,” Lachlan said.
“Dean has very good group communication skills, something that he has acquired over the last few years through coaching, and I’m new to this so it’s something I’m still developing.”
Dean was a little more nostalgic when discussing the possibility of coaching with his younger brother.
“It’s something I’ll definitely look back fondly of, especially if we are to be successful,” Dean said.
“I didn’t think we would get the chance to play together (and) now to coach alongside each other, it is one thing most brothers would never get the chance to do.”
Dean implored his younger sibling to bring something new to the Blues, and expected him to keep the younger players on their toes.
“He will bring a fresh set of ideas, we obviously have a system that works for us, but a new set of ideas always keeps you ahead of the game and everybody involved, motivated and interested.”