BRIAN Rix is confident former NRL and Origin star Scott Sattler is the man to steer the Northern Rivers Rugby League representative side to a crack at glory.
The 41-year-old is currently formulating plans for the forthcoming New South Wales Country Rugby League AAMI Rugby League Senior Championships campaign after being appointed coach of the regional team.
He has already stamped his authority on the role, launching plans for a junior squad to help shape up talented juniors.
Rix said he was sure the former Penrith Panthers and Wests Tigers man would prove a successful appointment.
"I am very confident," he said.
"We had a good coach last year and that professional approach last year.
"We think we can improve further on that approach."
Sattler's appointment is the latest accolade for the Camperdown-born star in a successful rugby league career.
The lock forward played more than 100 games for the Penrith Panthers and West Tigers in the NRL.
He also featured for Queensland during the 2003 Origin series.
After finishing his top grade playing career, Sattler spent two years as football manager with the Gold Coast Titans.
He joined the Byron Bay Red Devils at the start of 2012 as a defensive coach and also featured as a player during the campaign.
Rix said Sattler had been the standout candidate from the applicants and had already earmarked forming a development squad, comprising promising players.
The party will train alongside the senior squad and is likely to meet for the first time in February.
"Scott had great ideas for some of the teams in the future," Rix said.
"He interviewed well and his experience speaks for itself."
Rix said Sattler may combine his role with a coaching position at the Red Devils, although that was still being finalised.
Northern Rivers was unable to make much of an impact in last year's Tier 1 competition, which won by defending champions Newcastle.
Rix conceded his side would again be in underdogs for this year's event, which gets under way on June 1 and also includes such teams as Illawarra and Canberra.
"It is going to be tough," he said.
"We are playing against sides like Newcastle and the Central Coast that have a lot more players to choose from.
"There are some good players coming into the Northern Rivers area (though).
"Scott is keen and excited and ready to get some things in place."
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.