Country mentality a Sea Eagles mainstay
Sea Eagles' Head of High Performance Dan Ferris is adamant his four seasons overseeing the Country Origin team alongside Trent Barrett will reap benefits for the club in 2016.
Born and bred in Armidale, Ferris is the man responsible for the Sea Eagles' strength, conditioning, flexibility and general treatment to inevitable injury woes.
The cutthroat week-to-week mentality of the NRL has Ferris confident his previous short-term alliances with Barrett can help the Sea Eagles in the long run.
"We were only talking about it recently; you plan for City Country week about three months prior to make sure the week runs perfectly. We have had plenty of sessions already [at Manly] and it's just run as smooth –you can tell the working relationship is there and carried on," Ferris told NRL.com.
"When it comes to the City Country game you get seven days to prepare for a pretty important game for players who are looking to represent New South Wales so we have definitely tried to bring across the same culture and demeanour.
"It's one week at a time and every day counts especially in those short camps because you don't get it back. We are trying to bring that mentality in and improve every day – the boys have already bought into that so it's an exciting few weeks until Christmas."
With the opportunity to start afresh on the Northern Beaches, Ferris spoke of the calming influence the high turnover of players at the club has had with them being in the same boat as him.
Though in the same vein, Ferris was buoyed by the move to Dee Why with his wife while also being able to continue his Doctorate of Philosophy studies at Griffith University.
"It's probably more exciting than anything else especially when working with a club that has the history it does and the success it's had, but knowing full well that I can contribute," Ferris said.
"Just looking at the way they play, you can't help get excited by it. We have done a lot of testing in the few days of pre-season and identified areas we can certainly improve on."
The limited casualties in the rehab squad proves another positive factor that has worked in Ferris and the Sea Eagles' coaching staff's favour in their first few weeks at the club.
"Probably the main two pre-season casualties are Daly [Cherry-Evans] and Api Koroisau who have both had shoulder surgery, but we have the majority of others on the park," Ferris said.
"We had a couple of ACL injuries but they're nearly back in the full-time training squad so by Christmas we'll have everyone back on the park.
"It's really important [that is the case] especially with half a new squad. We need to get these combinations up and running, and I'm sure they're excited too to get out of the rehab squad."