The man in charge of Illawarra’s title defence didn’t take long to find his feet in a new role this year, but he knows drastic changes are needed if the side is to go on a run in the Intrust Super Premiership finals.

Mat Head, formerly the mentor of the Dragons' successful Holden Cup outfit, was appointed successor to 2016 Coach of the Year Jason Demetriou this season, taking charge of the side which tasted grand final success over Mounties.

The transition between the two competitions was a straightforward one.

"It’s been pretty easy, to be honest," Head told NSWRL.com.au. "It has its hard moments with not knowing who you've got playing for you that week or who you’re playing against, but there’s been up to 10 (players) that have played in my 20s side last year that have played with me at any one time.

"When you’ve got familiar faces out there you know what their good and bad traits are, they know what my good and bad traits are so you sort of know what’s going to happen week-to-week.

"It’s a really exciting time for the club, exciting time for myself and all these young players to play a finals series in the Intrust Super Premiership."

Read more at NSWRL.com.au