New Bradford Bulls boss Francis Cummins admits there were times this season when he feared he would have to change professions, such was the beleaguered state of the club.
Cummins was promoted from assistant coach to succeed Mick Potter as head coach this week, signing a three-year deal with the Bulls to become the youngest coach in Super League at the age of 35.
Potter and Cummins had been working for free at Bradford since July as the club fought to avoid liquidation, and the former Leeds winger told Boots 'n' All he is ready for the top job after a difficult year that led him to question his future in the game.
"I am just ready for it. We have had a really dodgy year and there were times this year when I was thinking that I may have to change careers, I might have to become something else to earn a living," he told Boots. "But it is nice to be here, and to be in the job and try to assemble the team.
"I had the moral high ground but no money in the bank. It was done for the right reasons though; it wasn't done to get the press or anything like that. There are ways of going about things and I think I have done the right thing."
At present Cummins has just 16 players on full-time contracts and his budget is set to be smaller than many of their Super League rivals. Cummins is aware of the challenge facing him and believes it will fast-track his development as a coach.
"I know I will learn a lot more in these next three years than I would have if I had dropped in somewhere else," he said. "I could have arguably had all the best players and people would have said what a coach he is, when really this is where the coaching needs to happen.
"I know I have to be good and I know I have to inspire these young men to be better than what people have forecast them to be."
One of the defining factors of the Bulls' defiant late-season form, which almost saw them claim a play-off place, was the unity at the club between coaches, players and fans. And Cummins was keen to stress that such spirit would again be required next season as a crop of young players are entrusted with the club's future.
"We are going to really need the Bradford public to really buy into this because we were tight this year, the players and supporters were really tight," he said. "That is the way it has to be.
"And we will improve that way. If it goes the other way and we all start falling out and going home after 20 minutes, then it is going to be really tough because those young men in the Bradford shirt really need their support."