THE challenge of leading a first-grade side was the motivation behind Jackson Zifodya's decision to take the reins as head coach of North Companions in 2019.
Taking on the role after long-term coach Gavin Thompson elected to coach the clubs's reserve grade side, Zifodya is looking to take a new approach to leading the side.
"I would say my style of play is very positional," Zifodya said.
"You can't control the game unless you have the ball, so the real focus for us is about learning to play that positional game.
"We have quite a young side but the game plan is starting to take shape."
It will be a new-look North Companions team that takes to the park in round 1 against the Demon Knights on April 6.
The side will be missing veterans such as Nick Bowman, Ben Todd and Zifodya himself, with all three set to line up in the club's third-grade side on Friday nights.
"I did briefly consider being a playing coach this season," Zifodya said.
"However, I think it would have been a bit too difficult, so I will coach from the sidelines instead.
"But the the Friday night games will be a lot of fun and I am looking forward to getting on the park."
With the exit of several key players, Zifodya said the club had "a very youthful" atmosphere this season.
"I would say majority of our players would be between 19 and 22 years old," he said.
"While it is a very young crop of players, I think from my perspective it will be very rewarding to help mould them into a consistent team.
"Gavin has done a great job with this group in the last few years and I'm looking forward to continuing that on."
Zifodya said the club's preparations for the home and away season were "really starting to ramp up".
"We will have a friendly against South Armidale ahead of our first game on April 6," he said.
"It should be a good hit out.
"I think that should really give us a good indicator of how we are progressing and what we might look like this season."