The club has confirmed that head coach Kevin Walters has appointed former Manly Sea Eagles hooker and subsequent assistant coach Matt Ballin as a senior assistant coach at Red Hill next year, per the Courier Mail.
Ballin will join former Titans coach John Cartwright as Walters' assistant coach for 2023.
The 38-year-old won two premierships during his time with the Sea Eagles and was rated one of the game's premier dummy-halves. Unfortunately for Ballin he spent the majority of his career waiting behind Cameron Smith for representative honours – though he did make one State of Origin appearance in 2010.
As assistants go, Ballin has some of the most recent experience with the modern game, officially retiring from the game in 2017 after a 220-game career. He joined the Broncos last year as a development coach but impressed so strongly that he was promoted within 12 months.
Next season shapes as a pivotal one in Walters' tenure after the team's late-season fade cost them a return to the finals that had seemed like a foregone conclusion as recently as Round 19.
Broncos CEO Dave Donaghy was effusive in his praise of Ballin, claiming he has all the makings of a future NRL coach.
“Matt's impressed everyone at the club since he arrived and he's been a great support to Kev in that time,” Donaghy told the Courier Mail.
“He came highly regarded from Manly from his time working with Des (Hasler) and I'd absolutely put him in that category of younger assistant coaches with the potential to be a first-grade coach in the future.”
Ballin has left a similar impression on the players, with 2022 Wally Lewis Medal winner Patrick Carrigan saying Ballin played a big role in his career-best season.
“He's a super smart guy,” Carrigan said.
“The way he sees the game and communicates, not only tactically with the players in the spine but also with the forwards is pretty cool.
“He was definitely good for me this year in terms of picking his brain. He's someone who encourages you to put in the work at training and use your skills as a player.
“He's built a lot of relationships with the work he did with the Queensland Cup boys this year. He's only been at the club for on year but he's awesome.”