TIM Glasby knows better than most what new coach Adam O'Brien will bring to the Newcastle Knights.
The pair worked together for six seasons at Melbourne, during which time the Storm made the play-offs every year, featured in three consecutive grand finals and won one premiership.
Suffice to say that O'Brien learned a trick or two in his decade on Craig Bellamy's support staff, before capping off his apprenticeship with another title-winning stint under Trent Robinson at Sydney Roosters last season.
O'Brien, in his first appointment as a head coach, apparently has no intention of trying to replicate the culture and environment of his former clubs. Instead he hopes to adapt his knowledge to suit the Knights' specifics.
"He's obviously got his own little touch to it as well, which is important," Glasby said.
"You can't just copy and paste. Every club and every team is different.
"He's definitely bought some things from Melbourne, which is good for me. It's familiar, which is nice. But he's got his own little touch on things as well."
Glasby said there were "definitely some differences in the program" compared to this time last year, when he first arrived at the Knights to start a three-season contract.
"The one thing we've done is stripped everything back to basics ... I know Adam is real big on that, from working with him in the past," Glasby said. "You do little things well and the big things will come from that."
In particular, O'Brien has made it a priority to take Newcastle's players outside their comfort zone during the pre-season and instil a much-needed hard edge.
The Knights' resilience came under scrutiny last season when they lost nine of their last 12 games to fizzle out in the finals race, a slide that eventually cost O'Brien's predecessor, Nathan Brown, his job.
By toughening them up physically, the theory is that they will also be a stronger team mentally.
"It's going to be a big pre-season, but I'm really enjoying it," Glasby said.
"It's been a good start and the boys are ripping in ... it's about training hard, first and foremost.
"You have to be meeting targets and ... there's a bit of a mental side to it, too, which I think is important after the year we had last year.
"We're working on our mental toughness and making sure we're doing things well under fatigue and under pressure."
Glasby said it was "hard to compare" this pre-season with 12 months ago.
"All pre-seasons are hard. They're all difficult in their own right," he said.
What the Queensland Origin forward can say for sure is that he has no desire to again be a spectator come finals time.
"It was rough," Glasby said.
"It's not a nice feeling, sitting there watching other teams go around at that time of the year.
"Particularly when we showed some good form through the middle part of the year and knew what our potential could be."