Shawn Townsend admits he was slightly shocked when asked to be Dubbo CYMS' first grade coach in 2021.
But he didn't need too long to think about it and is now "over the moon" about the chance to work with one of the most successful bush footy sides in recent history.
Townsend has a long history with CYMS and previously coached the club's first grade side to a Group 11 title in 2009 alongside Justin Yeo but his involvement with the senior ranks has been minimal since then.
He's been a leading junior coach with St John's and various representative teams in recent times and has been heavily involved in programs like the Penrith Panthers' partnership with the Western Rams.
"I haven't coached a senior side in about 12 years but I'm a much better coach now than I was then," he laughed.
"I was a player-coach then and one of the main reasons I retired is because I wasn't enjoying playing but I loved coaching.
"I've done courses since then and been to clubs and I know a lot more now.
"I was taken aback at first but in the end it was a no-brainer. I love footy and I love the club so I'm over the moon."
Townsend was approached by the club after previous captain-coach Jarryn Powyer stood down from his role late on during CYMS' President's Cup campaign this year.
Powyer will still remain a key part of the club but is expected to miss a fair chunk of the early stages of the 2021 season due to a holiday.
Townsend's appointment is one of a number of coaching changes at the club heading into next season, with Bret Fisher stepping up from the under 18s to take on the reserve grade side while Ben Williams takes control of the juniors.
Highly-regarded women's coach Kaitlyn Mason will coach the Fishies' successful league tag side.
"The main thing you want is for a side to compete hard and this side has already got that down pat," Townsend said.
"They've done so for about 10 years so it won't be an issue.
"I'll ask how they want to play and I'll have my own ideas and we'll go from there."
The Fishies have already confirmed a number of new signings for 2021 with Josh Toole, who played in the green and white in the President's Cup after initially agreeing to join Macquarie, extending his deal with the club while former Wellington powerhouse prop James Stanley has also signed on.
"I had a chat to him the other night and he's a cracking bloke," Townsend said of Toole.
"He's got good size and attitude so I'm pretty excited to work with him.
"(Stanley) apparently rang the club and said he was keen to play and I don't think they could get him quick enough.
"He's only a kid but he's got good size and a heap of upside."
The new coach said he hasn't been hugely involved in any of the player negotiations but added he would be feeling positive regardless of who arrived or left the club prior to round one of next year.
The strong foundation at the club - made-up of long-term players like Powyer, Jyie Chapman, Alex Bonham, Ben Marlin, and Billy Sing - combined with the strong group of juniors coming through has the club well-placed to achieve success, according to Townsend.
He also praised the club's board, stating he has "all the time in the world" for president Mick Fraser and members like Josh Large, Wes Maas, and Nick Sykes.
"I wouldn't have said yes if not for the strong group who's been there for a long time," he said, before looking at the playing group.
"We've got enough kids coming though. There's probably six or seven who could come in and do a job now and you look at the next three or four years and St John's has got a heap coming through.
"I'm not too fussed about who signs or leaves, we've got enough depth there. We'll build from within."
Townsend added there is no rush to start his pre-season sessions, with full sessions not likely until February.