John Morris says he's up for the challenge of a "massive year ahead" after being confirmed as the new coach of the Cronulla Sharks.
Morris, who has signed a three-year deal as Cronulla's new coach following Shane Flanagan's resignation last month, said his expectation was for the Sharks to finish in the top four this year.
"I'd like to say how much of an honour it is to be given this position," Morris said.
"I played over 100 games for this club, came through the ranks of coaching for four years now. It's a job I'm looking forward to jumping in to. We're charging ahead, preparing for a massive year ahead.
"The senior group have been very supportive of me.
"On the back of 300 games of experience I've come through and had some wonderful coaches through my years. That was the backbone that built my career.
"Along the way those experiences helped me as a player and coach.
"I believe I've got something to offer... it might have come earlier than most people expected but I wouldn't have put my hand up if I didn't think I had something to give.
"I believe in myself and this club.
"Having that relationships with players – the Wade Grahams and Paul Gallens – they're the players that set the standards. If they know you as their coach they're going to listen to you and buy in.
"We've got a strong leadership group here. That relationship I've got with the senior players is more an asset than a liability.
"I'm not going to come out and say we're going to win the comp but a top four is the expectation for the Sharks.
"I know what success looks like and how keen the boys are to go two wins further this year. Having inside access to the players and journey over the years will hopefully springboard us into the next few years."
Morris said half Kyle Flanagan had been training strongly despite the distraction of his father's exit from the club.
"I haven't spoken much with Shane, I understand it's been a hard period with what he's been through," Morris said.
"Kyle's been outstanding, he's a great kid and like I said to him he's going to have off-field things to deal with. Unfortunately it's not a good distraction for him but credit to him, he's training the house down.
"I think our spine is in a good position, I expect Kyle to get some game time this year."
Meanwhile Sharks CEO Barry Russell responded to a Sydney Morning Herald report which suggested he may leave his post, saying: "I'm committed to this club; I'll be the CEO now and in the future."