He helped develop some of Penrith's most exciting young talent, and new Steelers coach Jamie Szczerbanik now hopes to bring that magic touch to the Illawarra system.
The man who is affectionately known as "Scissors" has officially taken the reins as the Steelers' new Harold Matthews (under-17s) head coach.
Pre-season training began a few weeks ago at the Steelers Academy, and there is an air of excitement around the club as they gear up for their first trials this Saturday against St George.
The Steelers and Dragons will face off in Lisa Foila, Tarsha Gale, Harold Mathews and SG Ball grades, while the Illawarra South Coast Dragons' Laurie Daley and Andrew Johns teams will also tackle Cronulla. All matches will take place at Albion Park's Centenary Field.
It will mark the first time that Szczerbanik has taken the reins since moving over from the Panthers at the end of the 2023 season.
Szczerbanik spent six years based at the foot of the mountains, which included being defensive coach of Penrith's Jersey Flegg (U/19s) side from 2018 to 2023. It was a successful period for the team, who made the grand final in his first year, and won the premiership in his final campaign.
He also worked with some of their most prestigious youth - including Stephen Crichton, Matt Burton, Mitch Kenny and Spencer Leniu - who went on to taste the NRL's ultimate glory in recent years.
Now, Szczerbanik hopes to unearth some gems at the Steelers.
"I've been here since the start of November and it's a change to what I'm used to, but it's a good change. It's exciting times, we've got a great facility here and a great bunch of coaching staff and players as well, so the future is bright for the Steelers," Szczerbanik told the Mercury.
"I wasn't sure what to expect, but - even back when I was a kid playing in these grades - the Steelers were always a fit team that played would play for the whole 70 or 80 minutes, however the game went for. So you knew you had to be on your game to win it, or come close to winning it. And I think that's bred into the club - you can see that in the boys now.
"All of the old boys that are involved in and around local league are breeding that into the kids at a young age, and there's a lot of competitions for position. And we try to build our training structure around having a winner and a loser, and competing in everything that we do. And you can see that in all of the sessions that we've done so far."
And in a statement that will bring a smile to any Steelers fanatic, Szczerbanik can see some similarities between the Penrith and Illawarra junior systems.
"The whole pathways set up is a little bit different, but it's not far off in the fact that every team that wears this jersey are in and around each other, so it's building a culture or a community and family type thing," he said.
"That's something that made the Panthers quite successful, and you can see it here. Everybody knows everybody, everyone shake's each other's hand, no one walks past without saying 'hello'. You can be a good footballer without being a good person, but your career isn't going to go for long.
"So we focus on building good people and a good culture, and the football will look after itself."
One of the perks of joining the Steelers is Szczerbanik's chance to work alongside St George Illawarra's NRL head coach Shane Flanagan, who was appointed to the role in mid-June.
Szczerbanik - who also has international coaching experience with Poland - said Flanagan was already making a mark on the Steelers program.
"All of the structures at Penrith came from the top down, and there was a belief there in trusting the system and that things will always be okay," he said.
"And that's sort of what we've got here now with 'Flanno' up top. We've also had (Dragons assistant coach) Dean Young come to training, as well as Zac Lomax and the like. And a couple of the boys in the SG Ball squad who train with first grade have been hanging around as well. Even though they've not directly impacted our boys, just seeing them in and around gives it a real good feel and gives them the belief that one day it could be them up there.
"Flanno has only been here a short time, but he's really instilling that whatever is happening up top, it has to filter down to the juniors - And that's what is going to breed success in years to come. Even though Flanno hasn't been coaching for the last couple of years, he's been in and around that media platform. And the way that speaks and pulls apart a game, you can tell that his football knowledge is second to none.
"And if I get an opportunity to learn off Flanno - and his support staff - I'm going to be a better coach for it."