The PFNL's 2021 league premiers, the South Mandurah Falcons said goodbye to the coach who carried them through two grand final playoffs and one premiership, and have welcomed new coach Jason Mitchell.
Kallen 'Junior' Williams stepped down as coach after last season's close and Mitchell said his goal would be to "keep and carry on what Junior built".
Mitchell has been at South Mandurah on and off for the last 10 years, and coached the reserves team for six seasons.
At the time the vacancy opened up, Mitchell had been helping Williams after returning from working away.
"I went to give Junior a hand and when he ended up taking a job in Esperance, I stepped in," Mitchell said.
Mitchell told the Mail how it felt showing up to his first training session in January.
"I rocked up to my first training session and I was standing on the oval with 50 sets of eyes on me thinking 'what the hell have I got myself into here?'," he laughed.
Read more: South Mandurah crowned 2021 premiers
"Obviously I watched the boys through the back end of last year and through the finals series. I know a majority of the team from the Colts days back when I was at the reserves.
"I know a lot of those fellas so it wasn't a completely fresh start for me."
Mitchell said South Mandurah had retained all of the league players from last season bar two, who had moved on to Peel Thunder.
"Our roll-out will be pretty much the same. Two of our boys from the finals side, Matt Pigott and Corey Tregenza-Cashell have departed for Peel Thunder."
After playing a few pre-season matches against South West sides, Mitchell said the team was looking strong.
I'm not a hard coach, I don't have a magic playbook or what I want them to play - it's their team and I'm there to facilitate and help them.
"We had a good hit out on Saturday. If we went into round one with the side I had I would be happy. We smacked a good 13 goals in the first quarter."
Mitchell said the work Williams had done with the team was "absolutely massive" and that he was focussed on continuing the culture he had influenced.
"He dragged a team from the bottom of the ladder to play in the grand finals for the past two years. I want to grow on the game plans and culture he created."
He added that while he felt a sense of pressure taking on such an established team, he would enjoy the entire process.
"When you take over a team at the bottom of the ladder the only way is up - so there's not a great deal of expectation. But this crew has played two grand finals in a row and lost by a kick and won by a kick.
"I'm not a hard coach, I don't have a magic playbook or what I want them to play - it's their team and I'm there to facilitate and help them."
When it comes to South Mandurah's biggest rivals the Rockingham Rams, Mitchell said the team wouldn't underestimate the team's new side.
"Losing a good side and coach would lead most people to think they are not going to be a force this year but they've got a very good colts side and very well-drilled reserve side.
"If the young guys from Rockingham are filling those spots I think the team this year will still be a top team."
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.