MATT Shipway has done the hard work in getting belief and depth back into the Port Macquarie Sharks, and now new coach Joe Cudmore is set to capitalise when he takes over at the helm for the Group 3 preseason in a few months' time.
Cudmore has big shoes to fill in the post-Shipway era at the Sharks, who won the premiership last weekend with a 20-8 triumph over the Port City Breakers.
He plans to sit down this week and start nutting a few things out for 2016 before the dust has even settled on this season's win.
Cudmore predicted the win would still be talked about for a while to come, given the way the Sharks still reminisce about their last victory which was in the Group 2 competition in 2010.
A handful of Sharks share a special premiership double.
"They still talk about 2010 like it was yesterday," Cudmore said.
"They [grand final victories] don't come around too often."
He's still re-living some special moments from this season's grand final. Repeat sets in defence went a long way towards getting the Sharks home.
"How many times we stopped them near the line," Cudmore said.
"Then Benny [Cudmore] did a good 30 metre run and got us out of trouble.
"Zakky's [Aylward] try at the end, I still remember that."
He has a few ideas to try when the Sharks return to training in preparation for the new season. Cudmore plans to start pre-season training in early 2016.
Training started early last season in preparation for the pre-season trial with the Newcastle Knights.
"We were playing football in February," Cudmore said.
He counts the hard work early as a blessing in disguise.
"There was no boring hill sprints or running around ovals, we were doing ball work [in the preseason]," Cudmore said.
"It [the trial] turned our training around."
He won't let Shipway pull the pin on playing just yet.
"He owes me a few years," Cudmore said.
He hailed Shipway for his work with the club.
"Shippy's done all the hard work, really," Cudmore said.
"He's got the belief and the depth back into the club. He commanded respect as soon as he got there."