New Featherstone Rovers head coach Ryan Carr feels there will be “no easy games” for his side next season.
Carr signed a two-year deal with Rovers last week, with the option of a third year.
The 30-year-old most recently coached New South Wales Cup side Mounties and has also held coaching roles in the academy set-up at both Cronulla Sharks and South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Carr retired from professional rugby league at the age of 25 due to injury.
He had spent time with Wests Tigers and South Sydney after coming through the ranks at Cronulla. He spent his final playing season in France before calling it a day and moving into coaching at just 25 years of age.
And despite having a limited knowledge of the Championship, the former NRL player is under no illusions about the challenges facing Featherstone in 2019.
“For me, I have limited experience over here but I have done a lot of reading on the competition,” he said.
“Clubs like Toronto, Halifax, Toulouse and Bradford and York have had great years, Widnes are back from Super League, it is going to be a really strong year. “You have got a lot of Super League standard and ex-Super League players playing, a lot of ex-NRL players and I think it is going to be a really challenging year.
“There are going to be no easy games, that’s for sure.
“We have got to focus on ourselves and get ourselves right first and foremost, we can’t really look at the opposition too much.
“If we are the best that we can be, that is all we can take care of. We have got to take care of our own backyard and be the best versions of ourselves and we will aim to do that.”
At only 30 years of age, Carr already has half a decade of coaching experience.
He is used to coaching players older than he is, and that is something he could experience at the LD Nutrition Stadium next year.
He added: “I am a young coach I suppose, by age – I have been around for what feels like a while.
“I have been around at a few different clubs, I have coached guys older than me in the past five years since I have been a coach.
“I am big on building relationships, I am not about ruling with an iron fist. I like to work with the players because they are the ones on the field doing the hard work.
“Over the next few months I am going to work really hard to get to know the squad personally and collectively and hopefully build some really strong relationships.
“And if we are all on the same page and all working towards the same goal then that is the most important thing from my perspective.
“I retired quite young due to injury, I retired around 25, that’s why I got into coaching so early.
“I am just looking forward to getting to work with the boys, there are no excuses. It is a bit of a late start on my part due to the circumstances but we have got to get on with our job and get on with what we can control.”
Carr has now travelled back to Australia to accelerate his visa process, he is hoping to be back in time to guide Featherstone through their pre-season campaign.