O’Brien coaching against new NRL club

Melbourne NRL assistant coach Adam O’Brien is helping plot the Sydney Roosters’ demise, but next year he’ll be one of them.

The right-hand man of Storm coach Craig Bellamy, O’Brien has signed on with their grand final rivals after 11 years in Melbourne.

Until he makes the move north post-season to link back up with former Storm halfback Cooper Cronk, O’Brien said he was purple through and through.

“It’s a bit weird but I haven’t been thinking about it,” O’Brien said on Saturday.

“I’m committed to the group I’m with now and I’m playing my role, what’s left for the next couple of weeks, and I will think about what’s next then.”

O’Brien joined Melbourne back in 2007 as an assistant coach with Storm’s under-20s program and has risen through the ranks.

He is widely credited for revamping the side’s robotic attacking structure to help them win last year’s premiership so going back-to-back on Sunday is the final challenge.

After spending the week poring over footage of the Roosters he knows his new club well.

“I’ve been looking at them from the other angle as my role next year will be from an attacking angle and this week I’ve looked at them from a defensive team,” O’Brien said.

Widely rated as a future NRL coach, O’Brien said it was tough to leave the Storm and Bellamy, with whom he shares a close relationship, but felt he needed to spend some time learning his trade at another club.

“Leaving is the hardest thing I’ve ever done … but I was mindful in terms of my development that it was important to do a thorough apprenticeship and moving to a strong club would certainly benefit my career.

“It will serve me well in the future and hopefully I can find my way back to Melbourne some day.”

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