"It's good that I've worked with a number of these players since they were Munster U20s. These guys are now 24 or 25 and form the core of the group, giving me a good handle on them. If a player walks in upset I can see it and understand it. I know how to talk to these guys, I know when they're in good form and at the same time, when they need their wings clipped as well.
"I've played with some of the older members of the squad and that gives you another feel for the game and your team. It's all about knowing your players as they're the ones who carry out your intentions on the pitch so it's important to have a good connection with them. Sometimes you praise players, sometimes you scald them, but at all times it's important you treat them with respect, and you get the same in return."
Having played to a packed Thomond Park on countless occasions himself, no one knows better the role Munster's 16th Man can play in spurring the team on. The Shannon clubman hopes this will continue during his tenure.
"I'm very passionate about Thomond Park and the fans who attend it. You could say I grew up there, I was in the Shannon dressing room at six years of age and have loved the place since. When people go to the stadium, they don't just go to watch a game of rugby, they go to get involved and create an electric match environment. Visiting coaches have often commented on the wonderful atmosphere created by our fans, cheering our guys on and providing an intimidating cauldron for opposition to play in.
"For me it has been disappointing to see smaller crowds in the last couple of years and I'd like to think we will get the supporters back through the manner in which we play. Thomond Park is an unbelievable facility and a great ground to visit but first and foremost we need to do our work on the pitch and make people want to go. We want kids saying - I want to go to Thomond Park - and dragging their parents to the venue. Often it's easy to stay in and watch it on TV so we'll do our best to make the stadium experience as enjoyable as possible.
"The same goes for the new Musgrave Park (to be renamed Irish Independent Park) and with its great new facilities due this season, we want people to fill it and cheer on the boys in Cork.
"We're conscious that we represent the whole of Munster, and that there's a passion within young guys across the six counties who want represent Munster when they grow up. It's great that we have the opportunity to play our pre-season friendly (v London Irish) at the Waterford RSC and we want to continue to bring the game around the province."
So how will the new boss and his management team look to play the game?
"We will go into each game tactically aware of our opposition's strengths and weaknesses, playing to our own strengths and getting our best players on the ball as often as possible. I know it sounds simple, but often what sounds simple can end up being the hardest thing to do. I'm not going to ditch what was good about last year, there's no reason why we can't bring that into our game again this year, plus it's one less thing for the lads to learn.
"I was asked earlier this week what's the expectation for May 2015, and my answer to that is to be a better coach with even more of an understanding of the game, and as result, for our players to be in a better position. We're all on an upward curve, always learning, always going forward, and if we play to our strengths I think we'll be hard to beat."
Munster play London Irish in the SEAT Challenge preseason friendly at the Waterford RSC on Friday August 29th, KO 7:30pm. To purchase tickets online please click here.