NEW Dubbo Macquarie captain-coach John Grey has a busy couple of weeks coming up.
Fresh from gaining the role, Grey is keen to get the Raiders into training as they prepare for their premiership defence and he will also become a father for the first time.
Ironically, both are scheduled for the same day.
"When I got the job I told the club that I planned on starting training on December 4 so we could get a couple of sessions in before Christmas," Grey said.
"Then Kara reminded me that that is the day she is due to have our baby.
"Maybe he will hold on for a day or two so it doesn't all happen on the same day."
With most of the 2012 premiership side re-signed for next season and beyond, Grey admits he has a nice platform to work with as he starts his first coaching role.
But he also knows the pressure will be on to perform.
"It's a challenge but I like a challenge and I know from being at the club this year that there is plenty of support," Grey said.
"I knew Jade was looking to leave and I knew there was probably an opportunity opening up. It was in the back of my mind but with the baby on the way and everything Kara and I had to have a chat before I decided to go for it.
"Taking on the role with a premiership team is a bit of a head start but there is plenty of hard work to be done if we are going to win the competition again and we have to be prepared to do that hard work all over again."
Coming off the back of a successful season in which the Raiders won the first grade and reserve grade titles, and finished runners-up in the under-18s, Grey is adamant he won't be trying to re-invent the wheel.
In fact he plans on trying to keep things much the same as they were in 2012.
"Jade brought a winning formula to the club this year and we all worked hard to make that formula work," he said.
"It would be stupid to try and uproot it all.
"Obviously we are different people and our ideas probably aren't entirely the same but if we work to a similar platform to the one we had this year, then we shouldn't be far off the mark."