Brian Barry-Murphy says the key to Rochdale’s success over the past two seasons is that their players are required to learn and progress every day.
The 37-year-old is enjoying life in his dual role of player and first-team coach under boss Keith Hill, who brought the Irishman to the club during his first spell in charge.
The former Republic of Ireland under-21 international currently has 459 professional appearances to his name but he is fine with the notion of that figure staying put.
He said: “My role is quite simple really. I’ve rarely felt required to play in the first-team games so my role is to help the lads be prepared for the games.
“There’s always an ambition within you that wants to play but the lads have been so good that there’s been no requirement for me to play.
“That’s what we all want so I’m very happy to go with that.”
The Cork-born midfielder joined Dale in 2010 after making 218 appearances for local rivals Bury and he feels his understanding of Hill’s philosophy is pivotal.
“I’ve learnt loads from him,” he said.
“Keith’s a very demanding coach – he wants the players to learn and progress every day.
“We have a mantra at the club that every day is a learning day and that environment helps the players to thrive.
“It’s very rewarding in the long run and most of our ex-players remain friends of the club and always seem to come back so it’s testament to the work we do.”
The former Preston North End and Sheffield Wednesday star gave a positive assessment of Dale’s start to the season.
He said: “It’s been a very productive start to the season for our lads.
“We’re never satisfied totally within the dressing room about where we are, I think all teams think they can have a little bit more.
“We were disappointed with last Saturday but the manager has told the players we’re generally happy with where we are, but there’s a lot more to come.”
As for his own future in coaching, Barry-Murphy went on to say: “I haven’t set any targets with regard to what I’d like to do in the future.
“Doing my coaching badges has benefitted me in what I can do with the players.”
His Rochdale side will be looking to build on their positive start to the season when they entertain Scunthorpe United at Spotland on Saturday afternoon.