NZ Warriors chief executive Cameron George has confirmed the club isn't too far away from negotiating a deal to re-sign coach Stephen Kearney.
"He is a big part of the future in my eyes," George said. "He wants to be here, the club wants him to be here and it's something I think is crucial."
Kearney led the Warriors to their first playoffs spot since 2011 and is currently in the last year of his initial three-year contract.
"Stephen has all the characteristics that we, as a club, are crying out for," says George.
"He's very professional, he has a good working relationship with players and staff, and he has hands-on experience as a player and a coach."
Kearney confirmed: "We are getting there."
He added there has only been one temptation to leave the Warriors.
"The only consideration was going back to Brisbane, where my family are."
"I mean to Bardon, not to the Broncos."
The Warriors will face the Melbourne Storm in the first of two pre-season trials at 9:50pm (NZ time) on Friday, at Geelong's Kardinia Park.