Ryan Carr feels he will be a “natural fit” at Featherstone Rovers after being appointed as the club’s new head coach.
In an exclusive interview with the Yorkshire Evening Post, Carr revealed that a number of meetings with chairman Mark Campbell swayed his decision to join the club.
The Australian has signed a two-year contract at the LD Nutrition Stadium, with the option of a third year.
He arrived in England yesterday morning before completing all the necessary formalities.
The 30-year-old most recently coached New South Wales Cup side Mounties and has also held coaching roles in the academy set-up at both Cronulla Sharks and South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Carr retired from professional rugby league at the age of 25 due to injury. He had spent time with Wests Tigers and South Sydney after coming through the ranks at Cronulla.
He spent his final playing season in France before calling it a day and moving into coaching at just 25 years of age.
“I have known of the club and of the Championship for a long time now. I know it is a proud club with a lot of history and I have heard a lot good things about it,” said Carr.
“I know people who have come from Australia to play here and I know people who have played against Featherstone. And they have always said that they are really competitive and really hard to beat.
“For me, I thought it was a natural fit. I met with Mark (Campbell), he was out in Australia and I sat down with him and had a couple of meetings and we got along really well.
I know people who have come from Australia to play here and I know people who have played against Featherstone. And they have always said that they are really competitive and really hard to beat.
“So that was probably the main thing that sold it for me, with how well I got along with Mark, how he spoke about the area, the town and how big the club is here.
“I feel really privileged, I am really happy to be here and I am excited for the season.”
Despite his limited experience in the Championship, Carr is under no illusions about the challenges facing Rovers next season.
Carr continued: “For me, I have limited experience over here but I have done a lot of reading on the competition.
“Clubs like Toronto, Halifax, Toulouse, Bradford and York have all had great years. Widnes are back from Super League so it is going to be a really strong year.
“You have got a lot of Super League standard and ex-Super League players playing, a lot of ex-NRL players and I think it is going to be a really challenging year.
“There are going to be no easy games, that’s for sure. We have got to focus on ourselves and get ourselves right first and foremost, we can’t really look at the opposition too much.
“If we are the best that we can be, that is all we can take care off.”
Despite a new-look squad at the LD Nutrition Stadium, Carr is hopeful that Rovers will be able to finish in the top five.
But the newly-appointed boss – who succeeds John Duffy after his exit to Leigh Centurions – isn’t keen to look too far ahead, and admits that he isn’t yet looking past pre-season.
Carr added: “I think if you were to look at the long-term goal of any club in the Championship, it is to get into that top five, and then from there make a fist of it.
“But for us we can’t look too far ahead and lose sight of the challenges that lay ahead in each week.
“We have got to focus on each week and take it as it is, even in pre-season. We can’t even afford to look forward to round one yet.”