Sydney Swans great Brett Kirk says his new role as Fremantle assistant can be a springboard to bigger things.
Kirk is reunited with Dockers coach Ross Lyon, who worked closely with the 2005 premiership winner when he was an assistant at the Swans before taking over at St Kilda.
"Ross Lyon sees the game better than nearly anyone I've been involved with, so he's going to be a great mentor (and) I'm going to learn a lot," Kirk told afl.com.
"I have a huge amount of respect for the man. We have a lot of similar philosophies about footy, about basics and effort, discipline and resilience … they’re the things I based my game on."
The 36-year-old will also team up again with Dockers assistant Mark Stone, whom he has known since his university days.
Kirk believes his experiences will prove important in building a relationship with the Freo players - and likened his job to his brother starting out as a tradie.
"My brother, when he finished school, became a plumber and he had to do an apprenticeship (first)," said Kirk, who played 241 games for the Swans from 1999-2010.
"So I just see this as my apprenticeship, learning as much as I can.
"As a footballer, I was probably in every one of the positions the players have been in - to be delisted, on the fringe, being one of the leaders of the club, going through some really tough times, having to deal with different things," he said.
"I come from a place that I think I'll be able to relate to a lot (of players). As a coach, you have to have a lot of empathy, and you don't forget how tough it was being a player."