FOND MEMORIES: Brandon Costin will go down in Comets folklore as the coach who got the job done in just one year.
FOND MEMORIES: Brandon Costin will go down in Comets folklore as the coach who got the job done in just one year. Brad Greenshields

NEVER GIVE UP: Costin's incredible coaching journey

RUGBY LEAGUE: Just 18 months ago Brandon Costin was in the coaching wilderness, disenchanted with the sport and unsure whether he would ever mentor again.

Now the Coffs Harbour Comets premiership winning coach has secured a position which will put him on the biggest stage in the sport.

Costin has been announced as the coach of Fiji, with his three-year-contract set to see him take the side to the 2021 Rugby League World Cup in England.

The position will also have Costin coach the Fiji team entering the NSW Intrust Super Premiership from next year.

"These are the kids out of the village, they play in the local competition but they don't get exposure to a high level and taught how to compete at a high level.

"I get a say with the coaching, strength and conditioning and other things; I'll be able to have a positive influence on every aspect of what it will take for that young athlete to get success.”

The appointment is an incredible achievement for the 47-year-old, as it's not everyday a coach is plucked from bush football to work at the international level.

Though if you dig a little deeper Costin's credentials speak for themselves, having won a Queensland Cup with the Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles in 2009 as well as being an assistant coach in the NRL.

TOP MENTOR: Brandon Costin has had plenty of highlights in his blossoming coaching career, including guiding the Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles to the 2009 Queensland Cup.
TOP MENTOR: Brandon Costin has had plenty of highlights in his blossoming coaching career, including guiding the Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles to the 2009 Queensland Cup. Cade Mooney/cm183149

Even though he'll get to work with weapons including Suliasi Vunivalu, Kevin Naiqama and Apisai Koroisau, Costin is more looking forward to assisting the players he'll uncover across the islands.

"That's where my excitement lies, really opening someone's eyes and showing them the path,” he said.

"Those guys are where they are because they are the finished product, my real excitement is turning the rocks into diamonds... developing the raw athletes.”

Costin, who played more than 130 NRL games, has already relocated to Suva for the role.

"Culturally I need to fit into their guidelines and parameters, which might take a bit of time,” he said.

Costin was still pulling on the boots and getting stuck into physical drills right up until his final day at the Comets, but he said there's 'zero chance' of that occurring in Fiji.

"There'll be a lot of big, powerful athletes there (laughs).”

The 2018 premiership winning coach said he'll be forever grateful for his time at the Comets, as it's reignited his passion for nurturing the next generation of footballers.

"I had a couple of years off coaching previous to the Comets, I wasn't quite sure where I was at with footy at the time. But I came back to coaching because I wanted to get back on the horse.

"When I spoke to Steve (Comets president Steve Gooley) he wanted that to happen.

"I told him day one we'd win the comp. We had a plan in place and it wasn't about peaking in round one or round two; it was about peaking in the grand final.

"Our grand final day happened to be in the semi final in Grafton, because if we didn't win that we wouldn't have won the premiership.”

Costin is all smiles during his time at the Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles.
Costin is all smiles during his time at the Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles. Nicholas Falconer / 185013

Costin played for the Comets U18s and first grade sides in 1990 before signing with St George in 1991.

He said he will be keeping tabs on the club which elevated him to become a professional footballer.

"I've told them I'll be available for advice.

"They are my junior club and I do have a strong affinity with the club. I have strong friendships there and they'll always be close to my heart.”

With one eye to the future, Costin is hopeful a successful stint with Fiji will potentially land him a head coaching role in the NRL.

"It's quite surreal, I feel so much gratitude and really blessed to be in this position. Now it's about going and doing what I said I could do in the interview.

"That would be a great story, going from coaching Coffs Harbour to coaching in the NRL. Fiji has given me an opportunity, so it's up to me to take it.

"I've dreamt of being a professional coach for a long time. If you spoke to me six months ago or six years ago I would have said it's impossible for me to be coaching at this level.

"So the simple message there is nothing is impossible.”



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