New Dubbo Demons coach Terry Lyons is thrilled to be back at the club and while his side suffered defeat in Saturday's annual trial match against Tumbarumba he's looking forward to "the journey" taken this season.
Lyons, a former long-serving player and coach at the club, is back at the helm for the Demons' men's tier one side this season.
It's been a regular occurrence in recent years for Demons coaches to come out ahead of the Central West AFL campaign and state the goal is a premiership win and anything outside a grand final place would be a disappointment but that's not the case for Lyons.
He knows there's talent within the squad but he's most excited by the desire, workrate, and unity within the players.
"We've been working really hard at building a bond and creating a competitive environment," he said.
"We've got a really strong leadership team that's taking an active role in driving that good culture and we've still maturing into that.
"So I would call it a bit of a transition phase."
That doesn't mean Lyons isn't targeting success this year.
But working with a new regime takes time and the coach is working to create a "more open and competitive culture" across the club.
There was promising signs shown on the weekend in the annual Isaac Cornell Memorial match against Tumbarumba but a slow start cost the Demons in a 9.8.62 to 7.1.43 defeat.
But the biggest sign and indication of the quality within the Demons for Lyons came late last year when he helped out in the final rounds following the departure of previous coach Steve Smith.
"I helped out a bit at the end of last season and I was really motivated by the guys to get involved," he said.
"They all put it and want to do well. You can't help but want to be part of it."
You can't help but want to be part of it.Terry Lyons
Also playing a big part for Lyons was this year being the Demons' 40th anniversary.
As one of the club's most decorated players, the chance to be involved in such a milestone year and be part of the reunion was too good to turn down.
"We want to build a culture of success and you don't do that by focusing on that end goal," Lyons said of the season ahead.
"You're going on a journey to get there. You always aspire to be there at the end but it's not my focus.
"The guys are focused really well on getting ready for the first game."
That first game is on Saturday, May 1 against the Orange Tigers in Cowra.
Lyons got a better idea of things on Saturday as he tried a number of players in new positions and put his game plan in action.
New recruit Lucas Howison was one player to catch the eye with his performance on the wing while Dubbo stalwarts Joey Hedger, Nathan Carroll and Harley Bye were also singled out by Lyons in what he described as a "pretty all-round, consistent effort".
The weekend's match, as always, was special as it honoured the memory of someone who represented both clubs.
The Demons women were also beaten by Tumbarumba in a match on Saturday.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: