NEWCASTLE Knights coach Adam O'Brien says the club is setting itself up for long term success with the appointment of former Dally M coach of the year Anthony Seibold and ex-internationals Andrew Ryan and Mark O'Meley to the coaching staff.
While Seibold's position is part-time with a focus on coaching the coaches and being a "sounding board" next season for O'Brien, Ryan and O'Meley are both full-time appointments who will not only coach in the lower grades but also be heavily involved in development and junior pathways.
Departed assistant coach David Furner has been replaced from within, with Rory Kostjasyn and Eric Smith stepping up as assistants alongside attack coach Willie Peters.
The Knights are into their third week of pre-season training and O'Brien, a former Batemans Bay Tiger, says all the planning that's gone on behind the scenes has everything on track.
He defended the decision to get Seibold on board following his controversial exit from the Brisbane Broncos at the back end of last season.
The pair share a strong bond from the four years they spent together at Melbourne Storm under Craig Bellamy.
"Seibs has been to the penthouse and he's been to the other house at the bottom but the thing I know about him is he is invested in helping me and the club the best he can to see not only me, but the Knights do well," O'Brien said.
"He understands the art of coaching and teaching. We worked a lot with a coach's coach in Melbourne and there's a lot of that ingrained in Seibs.
"He is an elite university lecturer. He understands how to get a message across and it's just not solely about rugby league.
"It's about the most effective ways to plan for meetings, it's about communication - there's a host of areas where Seibs will help us.
"He's going to work with all our coaches to help develop them and ultimately, the more effective we are as a coaching staff, the better our players are going to be."
Asked how much direct influence he will have with the NRL side, O'Brien said: "I don't have a ceiling on it and I don't have a floor. I know that he'll be a good sounding board.
"Anyone who is looking at it as me doing a favour for a mate, it is certainly not the case. He is going to be very effective for our coaches and myself."
O'Brien believes Ryan and O'Meley, working with Scott Dureau, will add another dimension to the way talent is identified and developed.
"With our pathways, we are going to be taking a real targeted approach to developing our own which is key to our long-term success," he said.
"When you spread yourself wide, too many things can fall through the cracks in terms of development and when you are part-time, it is naturally more difficult to be all-in.
"I just feel full-time coaches are the best way to go. You can invest more in your region. You've then got more time to coach the coaches out there, producing more footballers.
"Andrew and Mark, they are just really passionate about developing the kids.
"That stood out to me when I first spoke to both of them about coming on board."