WINIS Imbi knows Port Fairy's culture shift is a work in progress.
The Seagulls mentor, who took the reins from Daniel Nicholson in late 2019, is leading a rebuild from within at Gardens Oval.
Imbi will be without Nicholson, who has departed to Russells Creek, while former captain Xavier McCartney also left in March.
Part of new approach has been inspired by a program close to home. Imbi will implement a top-to-bottom approach, called the Seagulls' Nest, which links senior footballers to juniors right through the club.
The club has to have the courage and conviction to see things through and be able to shake a player's hand and wish them all the best if it isn't for them because there is a belief we need to change things.Winis Imbi
The program has been pioneered successfully in the club's netball wing.
Imbi is hopeful it can help build connections and relationships between footballers regardless of rank.
"You really get that whole level of connection," he said.
"It's something to help in realising we're one whole club and not just senior footballers or just under 18 footballers and so on."
Imbi, a Portland and North Gambier premiership coach, said the club was ensuring its players were committed to helping the Seagulls reach their potential.
"You have to embrace change. In saying that, some boys may think that it's too tough and might not want to be a part of the Seagulls' Nest and be part of the vision we have," Imbi told The Standard.
"The club has to have the courage and conviction to see things through and be able to shake a player's hand and wish them all the best if it isn't for them because there is a belief we need to change things.
"I know that this is something I can't do myself and it's a fantastic challenge for the playing group to commit to that."
The 41-year-old, who will enter 2021 with Shane Threlfall his assistant, said gun midfielder Andy McMeel and backman Matt Sully were examples of dedication to the cause.
"Andy was torn about whether he stays or if he goes to Russells Creek," Imbi revealed.
"First of all - he's a fantastic human being. He had to make the decision of where he wanted to play his footy. Yes, it's going to be challenging at Port Fairy but he knows there are great people around.
"I knew his heart had to be in it and committed just like mine is, it can't be in two places at once. We realise that it's potentially a long road but it's one that could be quickened up.
"It doesn't take much to change a club because we have good people and good players here, it just means aligning to a common goal.
"Andy's a great example of that, and he's now signed for two years. Matt Sully has committed and even a Darcy Smith, who is an up-and-comer, is another. It allows you to grow with a new group and that's exciting."
Imbi said the club was pressing on with recruiting and had informally started pre-season. He said commitment to pre-season would be largely player-driven.
Imbi said the club wished Nicholson, who arrived at Port Fairy in 2014 and spent two years as coach, well and had split on good terms.
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.