Biding his time as Panthers assistant coach for the past four years, new Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett has remained true to himself according to veteran back-rower Lewis Brown – who was at Penrith for almost the entirety of Barrett's tenure at the club.
Arriving at the northern beaches together, Brown said Barrett's demeanour hasn't changed despite him being the face of the Sea Eagles' changing of the guard – where no less than a dozen players have joined the club, including Brown.
Having already dealt with the Sea Eagles' injury-ravaged Auckland Nines campaign, Barrett has seemingly passed his initial efforts as a head coach with flying colours.
"A lot of people have asked me if I had noticed a difference, and to be honest with you he hasn't changed one bit. I can honestly say that," Brown said.
"Trent's a man's man and when he speaks everyone listens and that's one quality you want in a person, but also in a coach.
"He's a humble bloke and not big-headed no matter what power he has. Obviously being head coach here he has a bit of power but he doesn't throw that around either. He just wants the boys to buy into what he's offering."
Brown's immediate focus though remains on recovering from off-season knee surgery in time for the Sea Eagles' season-opener against the Bulldogs.
"Five weeks ago now, I had a little clean out of the knee. I won't be participating in the last trial this weekend so I can get myself right for Round 1 and be fit and fighting," Brown said.
"It's not ideal but you're dealt these cards some days. Personally I believe in myself though to get the job done in terms of being ready for the start of the season."
Meanwhile the 29-year-old Brown is taking his utility tag that he brings to the club in his stride, but is looking to settle in the Sea Eagles' back row in 2016.
"If I slot into the back row I'll be very happy. But I'm team player too so I'm always one to put the team first," he said. "Either side [of the forward pack], I don't mind. It's a bit of luxury having either Dylan Walker or [Daly] Cherry-Evans to run off.
"All the boys here are all good and everyone is on the same page. We're all really excited about what we have here and what we're building towards."
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This article first appeared on nrl.com