Rosslyn Park coach Jan Bonney is starting the new National League One season with the team he built.
Bonney, who replaced Florent Rossigneux last summer, inherited a squad that came seventh in 2011 and took them to a fifth place finish in April.
The former Esher captain, who lost lock Rob Anderson to Championship new boys Jersey this summer, never felt he had a team able to deliver on his rugby philosophies last term.
But 12 months into the job, Bonney is confident he has men more in tune with how he wants the game played.
“I started to put my stamp on the players last year but it is never a quick fix and things take a little more time than you would hope,” he said.
“The teams will play the way they did before you arrived and it takes time for them to adapt to your ways.”
He added: “But we are getting there and the guys are understanding how we want to play.”
But Bonney is only too aware of false dawns after his charges roared to the top of National League One last year by Christmas, only to fall away as the season entered the spring.
Bonney added: “When we were top, I think everyone thought it was all going to be great. But sometimes you gloss over some of the things you need to work on. We did not finish where we liked but it was a big step up from where we started.
“I’ve had more input in the planning for players this time which is good and our plan is to improve on last year and with some new players we can aim for even better.”
He added: “This is going to be a very tough league. Only one team goes up and just one injury throughout the season could be the difference.”
Park start the new season on September 1 with the visit of Sedgley Park.