NEWLY-appointed Ipswich Knights football coach Mark Dykman was forced to play rugby growing up in South Africa.
It didn't take long however to unveil his true sporting colours when he moved to Australia in 1998.
Dykman, 50, has been named as Knights head coach for next season's revamped Brisbane Premier League competition.
"I'm exceptionally passionate about football and Ipswich people have the same passion that I share," Dykman said.
Although he played rugby because it was compulsory in school, Dykman was happier playing semi-professional football in South Africa for 10 years in the 1980s.
Moggill-based Dykman has continued that bond with the round ball game as a coach.
He will be assisted at the Knights by technical football director Mitch Cattermole, who was a Division 1 co-coach at the club last season.
Dykman hasn't worked with Cattermole before but the former Brisbane City Premier League and Moggill Division 1 coach is aware of the Ipswich club's proud footballing history.
"I don't think it's a case of coming in and making massive big changes," the naturalised Australian citizen said.
"It's a case of taking stock of what we've got, maybe one or two extra players, and then building off the national curriculum and forming a good structure.
"They (Ipswich players) haven't had a chance to be coached under the new curriculum.
"That's going to be my biggest challenge."
Dykman has links to Ipswich with his children attending Ipswich Grammar and Ipswich Girls' Grammar schools.
The consulting engineer has also done a lot of development work in the city in the past decade.
"I've been attracted to Ipswich football in general with my son (Scott) playing with Ipswich Grammar," he said.
Dykman, who has an Asia B licence, is planning an open session for his players on November 28.
Knights vice-president Todd Hunt said Dykman's track record of success and high-level coaching qualifications were vital as the Knights move from Division 1 into the highest level Brisbane competition.
"Mark will bring the success that saw Brisbane City climb the Premier League ladder in 2012," Hunt said.
"His experience in football and life, professional approach and demonstrated performance as a coach will be welcomed by the Knights."
Hunt said Dykman would oversee the top side with Cattermole involved across all grades. Cattermole will work with three assistant football development officers, bolstering junior development.
Dykman is proud of his coaching work at Moggill, helping the Division 2 side gain promotion after 10 years strengthening the youth and junior ranks.
His most recent achievements were with Brisbane City.
"The Premier League is a big step up from Div 1," Dykman said.
"It's not a case of the players having the ability. It's just a case of the intensity of training and the commitment to the game.
"As you go up the ranks, that's what changes.
"I'm quite excited about the opportunity.
"When I took on the City job that was like a massive buzz. But I actually think I've got a bigger buzz for this gig."