Graham Thorpe is thriving on the challenge of surviving as a rare Englishman coaching cricket in Australia.
Thorpe, who retired from playing in August 2005, was appointed assistant coach of New South Wales in July, having worked as a batting coach for the Blues for the previous two seasons.
New South Wales are by far the most successful state side in Australian cricket history and while the 38-year-old is learning on the job, he knows he has a lot to prove as an Englishman coaching Down Under.
"It is rare," Thorpe told AFP on a visit to London, acknowledging he was going against the trend, with Australian coaches in England far more common.
"But that's why I've enjoyed it and that's why it was really challenging for me when I went out there because I knew that if you weren't actually offering anything you wouldn't survive.
"It's been a learning curve in my coaching experience as well.
"It's in Australia so it's in a pretty tough environment to go and do it, so I'm enjoying that side."
Former England batsman Thorpe, who played the last of his 100 Tests two years ago before making way for Kevin Pietersen, said the dearth of young domestic talent coming through the English county system, compared with Australian state cricket, was troubling.
The left-hander, whose record of 6,744 Test runs at an average of nearly 45 with 16 hundreds made him arguably the best England batsman of his generation, said English cricket had a lot to learn from Australia.
"It's just about making your domestic cricket as hard as you possibly can and also providing the England team with as many cricketers as you possibly can," Thorpe said.
"On both of those questions I wouldn't say England are doing everything they can. That's why it's important over the next few years that the authorities keep a close eye on it.
"If you have only maybe two overseas and three or four Kolpak players in your team, and then you've got two guys who are over 35 playing county cricket, then that leaves maybe one or two players from each county who might be able to play for England.
"That's the worrying trend for me that the authorities need to keep an eye on.
"You're a product of your system. Everybody who's playing in Australia in their domestic system is an Australian.
"The whole idea of county cricket should be to produce at least seven or eight home-grown players. It might not be the case at the moment.
"Talent is pretty much the same in both countries but in domestic cricket, your talent gets harnessed, which is a little bit different.
"Admittedly their system might be easier because they have six states, in England we have 18 counties so we always have to keep an eye on our structure and make sure it's as competitive as it can be.
"It's debatable whether it is at the moment, there's still more work to be done in that area."
Thorpe, whose 18-year first-class career was spent at The Oval with Surrey, is enjoying developing his own coaching style at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
"The knowledge is still pretty clear in my head about what it takes to be an international cricketer," he said.
"I've had my fair run-ins on and off the field over my career, so I've got a good understanding of what it's like to play at the highest level, and preparing players for that level.
"I've enjoyed the psychology of getting players to perform. Some lads you have to put your arm round and some lads you've got to give them a bit of a shove. That's the joy of getting on the other side and coaching.
"People can make mistakes, and you have to be able sometimes to have a bit of empathy with that and compassion and at the same time drive them on to make them realise what international cricket is all about."