The Albion Park-Oak Flats Eagles' finals flight was on course in 2021, which would have marked the first time the club had played post-season footy in close to a decade.
"As a whole, we were disappointed with the way things ended, as we were sitting well and truly in the top five, playing solid footy and were building towards finals - we definitely thought our best performances were in front of us," Warner said.
"Upon reflection though, it was a positive season as a whole.
"Going from two wins in 2020 to six wins, with plenty of games to go, this year is a big turnaround, highlighting the incredible effort and hard work all the players and staff had put in for us to improve."
But their two roles will be even more significant for the Centenary Field-based side in 2022, after being appointed co-coaches - taking over Ian Jones and Steven Johnson.
"Ian and Steve, after two seasons at the helm, decided not to go again and the club was very proactive in getting on the front to foot to get things moving for next year instead of waiting," Warner said.
"I got a call from club president Kenny Booth a few weeks ago with the idea and I jumped at it - after we had originally both nominated individually.
"Then after discussing it with Jay and he was very keen on it too - he's extremely passionate and hands-on with his footy and I feel we'll be able to have a positive working relationship."
That sentiment was echoed by Efaraimo, who guided Shellharbour's under 18s team to the premiership in 2020.
"Tom and I are very much on the same page and feel the window is now to do something special at the Park," Efaraimo said.
"After two COVID interrupted seasons, in which Jones and Johnno did a fantastic job developing this current squad, there's a real sense the club is heading in the right direction, as shown by some of our fantastic results in 2021."
While this marks Warner's first stint as captain-coach, it's been a goal of his for some time, where he'll use his experience of playing in Group 20 and Canberra to his advantage.
"Captain-coach has always been a goal of mine for quite some time and I think this is perfect timing," the 28-year-old said.
"I've never been more ready for it and I'm very excited for next year to give it everything I have.
"I bring plenty of experience to the role, as well as a no-fuss attitude and hard work will do the talking - I'm definitely a lead by example kind of guy.
This on-field role will be complimented by Efaraimo, who will call the shots on the sidelines.
"Player-coaching is extremely difficult because you've got to worry about your own game as well as everyone else's, so I will very much be our eyes on the field from the bench during games," Efaraimo, who admits he learnt plenty from Abed Atallah and Ryan Powell during his time at Shellharbour, said.
"Not only that, I will again be in charge of a lot of the training sessions the pre-season, which was a big part of our success in 2021 - allowing Tom to rip into training and not worry too much about the coaching side of things.
"I'm an older head, who's got a sense of old school values including doing the little things right, which can sometimes get lost in today's footy.
"Both Tom and I have different strengths, which should bode well for the club in 2022."
The appointment will also see Efaraimo coach his son Donte for the first time since under 11s.
"It's going to be super special to coach Donte again, especially at the place he started his rugby league journey," Efaraimo said.
"He's become an amazing young man with a young family but also appreciates once we get on the footy field, he's willing to do what's best for the team.
"He's one of those guys who comes in, does his work and then goes home, which is how it should be.
"In saying that, I won't be treating him any different to any of the other players at the club and I know that's how he would like it anyway."
While the dust is still settling on the 2021 season, Warner admits the club is fully focused in making their 99th as a club a special one.
"The club has a proud history and with its current finals drought, it's a massive goal of mine to end that and cement a top-three spot in 2022 - which should allow us to have a red-hot crack at the premiership," said Warner, who hopes to have the majority of this year's squad on deck for 2022.
"It's a very local club and to see how hard everyone worked over the off-season to try and break that drought is very encouraging and it says a lot about what Jonesy and Johnno and brought to the club culture, which Jay and I will be aiming to build on.
"We have a strong mix of talented players and exciting young guys that I believe can take us to the promised land - with everyone ready to do whatever it takes to achieve that."
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