Wests Tigers Coach Michael Maguire says his relentless desire to win is the biggest thing driving him forward at his new club.
In his first official appointment at Wests Tigers since arriving back in the country late last week from the Kiwis' tour of the United Kingdom, Maguire looked both focussed and excited about the task ahead as he spoke to journalists alongside Wests Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe at Concord Oval today.
"What's the expectation for you in 2019?"
A seemingly innocuous question on the surface for Maguire, but one that began to offer a glimpse in to the mentality that has made the 44-year-old a proven Premiership winner in his time across both Australia and England.
"It always is," he said.
Full stop. Game on.
Maguire has garnered a reputation in coaching circles as one of the toughest and most intense trainers going around.
His time away from club land and in to the national role at New Zealand has changed him, making him a "more rounded coach" by his own admissions, but the relentless commitment to hard work hasn't wavered — and there's a reason why.
"At times, it's probably fair [to say I'm too intense]," he said.
"But I also enjoy winning too.
"At times, it's probably fair [to say I'm a bit too intense]. But I also enjoy winning too..."Michael Maguire, Wests Tigers Coach
"Being able to win and win competitions is part of what it takes to be a good coach and that intensity comes from that. My personality hasn't changed too much from Wigan to Souths and they both seemed to get to the right places so I'll no doubt have a similar feel around what we have here.
"I'm very passionate around what I do and I'm happy to be back coaching.
"I'm really looking forward to working with these players — from the senior ones to the younger ones coming through. I really enjoy building young men in to better people, and if I can do that and get them on a better path with it all, then it's good."
"I'm sure there's going to be some intensity at some stage," he added with a smile.
"I like my down time too but at the end of the day, it takes a hard-working team to be successful and if this team chooses to do that, I know they can go a long way up.
"The players themselves — I know a lot of them and they know what I'm like. They'll take the mickey out of me about it, but they know that the reason why I do the things that I do is that I want each individual to be successful to help better the team."
While "Madge" will understandably take some time to find his feet at the new club and familiarise himself with his surroundings, there's also an immediacy to his plans at the club.
Not once was there talk of rebuilding rosters or planning for the future.
His focus is on competing straightaway in 2019.
"In time, where we're at will show itself but I think any squad is capable of winning the competition because the competition itself is so close at the moment," he said.
"In my time away, I had time in the last 12 months, I had time to sit up in the grandstands of every club and games basically come down to one or two plays.
"That's how tight this competition is.
"So for us, it's about working hard in this time and building strong combinations and people like Josh Reynolds can back out on the park, then we're a strong squad.
"There's good leadership with guys like Ben Matulino, Russell Packer, Benji Marshall, Robbie Farah, Chris Lawrence... there's a lot of strong names there.
1.2km Time Trial Testing
"And then I think having guys who can complement that with some of the young names coming through, there's certainly the makings of what good teams are about.
"I've actually been watching this club for quite some time," he added.
"It's a big club, and I'm looking forward to building that momentum and getting the Members along and talking to the players about actually enjoying that momentum.
"I've experienced it at a big club here in the NRL and once you get that momentum behind you and the fans are in the stadium and coming along for the ride, there's no better feeling."
As legend would have it, Maguire arrived well before 6:00am for his first day.
There were no catch cries, no sayings or mottos, and no talks of buses.
"I'll just work hard each day," he said.