Alex Ronayne feels things couldn't have been better in his first few months as a captain-coach.
The hard-as-nails back-rower completed one of the biggest moves of the Group 11 off-season when he left Dubbo CYMS to take on the top job at crosstown rivals Macquarie.
He's quickly set about changing the culture and mentality at the success-starved Raiders while integrating a host of new signings into the fold.
The club has regularly been getting 80 or more players to pre-season sessions and will have its first test next weekend when it takes part in the West Wyalong Knockout.
"It couldn't have started any better, having never been a captain-coach and going straight into it," Ronayne said.
"It's been good and I'm really enjoying it. You look forward to going to training and being around the boys.
"There's a good vibe and a really good feeling. Everyone has been pushing each other.
"If someone is coming last [at training] the whole group of 80 goes back and walks with them and we don't stop until everyone is finished. It's a really good feeling and everyone has been getting around each other."
A handful of players, including forwards Colt Ure, Brody Chapman, and Aaron Daniel, have all departed the club but more than 10 new faces have arrived.
Joining Ronayne in sky blue is former CYMS teammates Jordan Reynolds, Matt Toole, Viliame Turuva, Ainsley Coxsedge, and Cameron Dennis while Matt Naden is back in Dubbo after a season in Group 10 with Cowra.
It's some of the other arrivals which are causing the most excitement though.
New Zealander and former Warriors under 20s player Mose Esera has caught Ronayne's eye while much is also expected of Josh Toole when he arrives next week.
Toole is someone well known to Ronayne as they've played knockout footy together with the Bourke Warriors.
Prop and former Bulldogs under 20s player Robert Mifi has arrived with Esera while Toby Williams has made the move from the Yenda Blueheelers.
There could be more additions as well with ex-Dunedoo captain-coach Don Dundas and former CYMS prop Ilisoni Vonomateiratu also linked.
It's not just the newcomers who have a chance either, with a number of younger Raiders players like the returning Blaine Fernando are set to continue their development in 2020 while veterans such as Ash Conn have returned and been a big part of pre-season.
Ronayne has been hard at work with all the players during the fitness sessions as his uncle and assistant coach, former NRL player Peter 'Chicka' Gibbs, has been "unreal" while running much of the pre-season program.
A ball hasn't been picked up yet as fitness and attitude has been the focus for the new captain-coach.
"You've got to be competitive and you've got to want to win," Ronayne said.
"We haven't been winning so I've been trying to get in their heads."
The ball work will start in the next week in the lead-up to the West Wyalong Knockout, where Ronayne's Raiders meet Wagga's South City Bulls in the opening round.
"We're ready for it. We've been training the house down, fitness-wise. We're fit enough and it will be a really good hit-out," Ronayne said.
"Obviously I want to start the season well and we're starting to gel pretty well now and get around each other."
The Raiders have also lined up trial matches against Lake Cargelligo and Gunnedah prior to their Group 11 round one match against Nyngan.