PETER Fitzsimmons knows all about leading by example, but with the Bathurst Bulldogs first XV still searching for its first win of the season he thinks the key could be following the lead of a new generation.
It is the younger Bulldogs who have impressed Fitzsimmons most in the opening two rounds of the Blowes Cup. What they may lack in experience, they are certainty compensating for with their enthusiasm, physicality and work ethic.
While players like 2019 colts Thomas Felsch and Zac Taylor may not have the size of some of the forwards they've faced thus far, their aggression means they have not backed away from any challenge.
They are qualities which Bulldogs will need if they are to get the better of Forbes this Saturday.
"We just need to build some continuity, I've seen a lot of good things out there, a lot of keen, young blokes have come in and they've probably been the best of us, so we just need to build on the back of those young fellas," Fitzsimmons, a player with more than 100 first grade games to his credit, said.
"They've been great, especially on our flanks. They've come in and they've been hungry and we need to follow them really.
"They're the ones putting the big hits in, they're the ones working hard and us old fellas need to get behind them."
After falling 31-19 to Dubbo Kangaroos in the season opener, Bulldogs fought hard against Orange Emus but ultimately went down by 11 points last Saturday.
It ended their undefeated run at Ashwood Park and leaves them sitting in last place on the ladder.
But it's by no means time for Bulldogs to panic. If the experienced players and the young guns can build that continuity Fitzsimmons speaks of, the Bathurst side will climb the ladder.
They have players who can create in attack, they have speed out wide and they have players who will work hard at the breakdown.
"I think we've versed the two best teams getting around so far, we haven't seen the rest, but they're both pretty good, we know our benchmark and we have to build towards that," Fitzsimmons said.
"Our goal was to stick it strong at home and start building a season off our defence. It's pretty tough to do that with the interrupted off-season - which everyone has had - but we'll get back to the drawing board."