WHILE those who will wear Saints colours in Group 10 next season are yet to lace up their boots for pre-season training, the process of trying to clinch premierships has begun for the coaching staff.
Last weekend new St Pat's premier league coach Zac Merritt was joined by first division mentor Tyson Medlyn and the man who guided the under 18s to premiership glory, Kevin Grimshaw, at an NRL coaching conference in Sydney.
There the trio absorbed information offered to them by a number of speakers including a former Australian Olympic rower, a man involved in the American sporting system, former Bathurst Panthers turned Jillaroos coach Brad Donald and Des Hasler.
They are lessons and knowledge the Saints trio can apply when it comes to guiding their Group 10 squad.
"They were just speaking about different ways to try and motivate your teams and individuals and that sort of stuff," Grimshaw said.
"We had field sessions as well down on ANZ Stadium and they were pretty good too. There was a guy from Parramatta, a guy from the Bulldogs, a guy from the NRL and a couple of others in the dressing sheds as well. Jason Demetriou the South Sydney assistant coach, he did a bit on game plans.
"So it was well worth it, I brought a little bit back from it.
"With Zac and Tyson, they haven't been coaching for very long, so they probably got more out of it than I did."
While Grimshaw, who was named the 2019 Group 10 under 18s coach of the year, has a wealth of experience guiding rugby league teams, the NRL conference was a first for him.
It not only confirmed to him the techniques he has been using stack up to the modern, elite approach, but highlighted that the Bathurst club is serious about finding success in 2020.
"This was the first time I've been to it, I think it's the fourth time they've run it. I've been to other coaching things before, but not on this stage," he said.
"I've been coaching for 20-30 years sort of thing and you are always learning, that's why it's good to go to something like that.
"It reiterates that you're doing the right things as well because I'm doing a lot of those things that those guys are doing. Even though they are basic, I'm doing the same things out here. So that was good to know I'm keeping up with what they are doing down there.
"Not that it's always right, a lot of things they do at NRL level don't relate to what we are doing down here, it's different people you are coaching. They spend six hours a day with their players, we spend probably three hours a week with our players.
"It's looking good for next year, it's pretty exciting actually. We've got a new first grade coach and a few of those under 18 boys I had last year will be going through to reserve grade and possibly first grade.
"We are starting to get that ripple on effect which is something we've been looking for for awhile now. This was part of the step, doing this too, the club paid for us to do this coaching thing."