Brett Kimmorley left the Canterbury Bulldogs to begin a "new chapter" in his coaching career and believes he can help instil a steely attitude in the Canberra Raiders in an attempt to end their inconsistent finals appearances.
Kimmorley wasted no time joining the Raiders, fronting for his first training session on Monday morning just days after signing a two-year deal to be David Furner's assistant.
He was part of Des Hasler's coaching team at the Bulldogs last season and helped the team into the NRL grand final.
But the chance to take on more responsibility convinced Kimmorley it was time to move to the capital and try something new.
"I'm very excited, it's a new chapter and a good challenge for me," Kimmorley said.
"The club [Canberra] is in a very good position at the moment ... to be given the opportunity to be one of the assistant coaches is a great career move for myself.
"I was considered more of a specialist [halves] coach at Canterbury. The offer Dave gave me is great ... it was just an opportunity for me to grow and have a shot.
"I feel like I've done a good apprenticeship, played for a number of years and last year taught me a lot working with Des for 12 months.
"It's an interesting part of my own journey to develop ... I hope it's going to be a wonderful career move."
Kimmorley will be with the Raiders full-time for the next two seasons.
However, his family will remain in Sydney and he will still be able to complete some of his duties working at Fox Sports when it slots in with the Raiders' training and playing schedule.
Kimmorley played more than 300 games in the NRL and helped guide the Melbourne Storm to a premiership in 1999.
He represented Australia 20 times and NSW in 10 State of Origins.
His arrival in Canberra provides a big boost to the Green Machine, who have undergone a backroom overhaul despite finishing sixth on the ladder.
Head coach Furner has employed two new assistants - Kimmorley and former under-20s mentor Andrew Dunemann - to replace Andrew McFadden and Justin Morgan.
He has a new strength and conditioning coach and is still searching to add a sport scientist to his staff.
After a woeful start to their 2012 campaign, they fired in the back half of the season to earn a home semi final before losing to South Sydney.
But the Raiders haven't been able to make the finals in consecutive seasons in almost a decade.
To break the pattern of making the finals one year and missing them the next, Kimmorley said the coaches needed to be strict to ensure there was an improved attitude.
"I think attitude is a big part of it and from the first training session I've seen, the players are certainly very accountable and all you can ask is they put the hard work in now," Kimmorley said.
"In the end it's up to the players how much they buy into their own pride and some of the excitement they would have got from the end of last season.
"It was a fair journey into the semis and it's about getting that going from the start of the year.
"It's a wonderful job to be offered and I hope I can do the best I can with some good times around the corner."
Furner tried to recruit Kimmorley as a player at the end of 2010, but the champion halfback declined and decided to retire instead.
Meanwhile, Canberra captain David Shillington returned to training for the first time on Monday after being given an extended break because of his duties with the Australian team.
Shillington is the Raiders' representative on the Rugby League Players Association, which is trying to negotiate an increase in the salary cap.
There will be another meeting in Sydney on Tuesday where the RLPA hopes its request will be granted.
But if negotiations stall, Shillington conceded a boycott of games was possible despite it not being his preferred option.