This time last year, Mike Delany was putting the finishing touches on his preparations for another season at first five for the Bay of Plenty Steamers.
A lot can change in a year.
After 77 games for the Steamers, Delany, born and bred in Rotorua, hung up the boots last year and has taken up the role of assistant coach.
He was on deck in Katikati on Saturday as the Steamers played in a Game of Three Halves with Wellington and Counties Manukau. While Sonny Bill Williams stole the show somewhat, Delany and the rest of the coaching team were making the most of their last opportunity to see their players in action before their opening game against Otago this weekend.
"[Saturday was] about getting a little bit of detail in and making sure our intent's there," he said.
"We've got a few goals ... and hopefully we can tick those off, move into next week and really solidify everything.
"It's been great, everyone's bought in to what we're trying to do this season. It's a new coaching crew with a few new players from around the place but Clayton [McMillan] has got us together well and everyone's really pumped about kicking things off."
He said there was a lot of competition for places in the team which was a positive in that it kept everyone on their toes.
"There's a bit of a headache for us coming in and that's always pleasing. The boys are putting each other under pressure and it's only going to put us in a good place moving forward this season."
Delany said the itch to be out on the field playing came back every now and then but he was comfortable with the decision to retire and step into coaching.
"It's a bit of a different feeling before the match but it's awesome to still be a part of it and helping the boys out.
"Sometimes I miss playing but ... it's windy and cold and there are some big boys running around out there. I was happy with the time I played and I'm content with being on the sidelines now."
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The Bay of Plenty WASPS first half of today’s Game of Three Halves sponsored by Eves Katikati saw Wellington come away with the win 24-15 over the WASPS. The WASPS now warming up for their final half against Counties Manukau kicking off at 2.40pm!
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His role as assistant coach allows him to contribute to the team in a number of ways. With a Super Rugby title with the Crusaders and a test for the All Blacks on his rugby playing CV, he has plenty to offer.
"There's plenty of stuff, working both sides of the ball, attack and defence. Working through our exit strategies with our kicking game and our backs."
The 37-year-old is a product of Rotorua Boys' High School, where he honed his craft before going on to make his Steamers debut in 2005.
His story shares several similarities with that of a current Steamers squad member. Kaleb Trask, 20, is another Rotorua Boys' High School product and the young first five is one of the players in the running to lay claim to the number 10 jersey left vacant by Delany - although he has played much of the preseason at fullback.
It is no surprise Delany has taken Trask under his wing in what could be a vital relationship for the young star's development.
"We bounce ideas off each other and he's always willing to learn and get better. It's awesome having someone like Kaleb, at such a young age, he's definitely going to be around a while.
"He's got a bit of everything, he can kick and he can run. He's pretty sound around the different aspects of rugby as well, he knows the game well for such a young man. If he can keep growing and we can keep him around it will be awesome for the Bay of Plenty."
Bay of Plenty Steamers 2019 Mitre 10 Cup Draw
Mitre 10 Cup, Bay of Plenty Steamers v Otago, Tauranga Domain, 2.05pm.
Mitre 10 Cup, Bay of Plenty Steamers v Waikato, Rotorua International Stadium, 4.35pm.
Mitre 10 Cup, Bay of Plenty Steamers v Auckland, Eden Park, Auckland, 5.05pm.
Mitre 10 Cup, Bay of Plenty Steamers v North Harbour, QBE Stadium, Albany, 2.05pm.
Mitre 10 Cup, Bay of Plenty Steamers v Wellington, Rotorua International Stadium, 7.35pm.
Mitre 10 Cup, Bay of Plenty Steamers v Taranaki, Yarrow Stadium, New Plymouth, 2.35pm.
Mitre 10 Cup, Bay of Plenty Steamers v Northland, Northland Events Centre, Whangarei, 4.35pm.
Mitre 10 Cup, Bay of Plenty Steamers v Hawke's Bay, Tauranga Domain, 2.35pm.
Mitre 10 Cup, Bay of Plenty Steamers v Manawatu, Tauranga Domain, 2.35pm.
Mitre 10 Cup, Bay of Plenty Steamers v Southland, Rugby Park Stadium, Invercargill, 7.35pm.