Melton has enjoyed a less than stellar Ballarat Netball League season so far, but the Bloods are hoping their fortunes are about to improve.
The Bloods, who had a bye at the weekend, sit on the bottom of the ladder without a win after six rounds, but have played a match more than most of their opposition.
And while a win has been elusive, they have held their own – only the undefeated Sunbury Lions have blown them off the court.
Bloods playing coach Katie Kakoschke admits it’s been a tough start to her first season in charge.
“We have at least half a team that could be playing under-19s,” Kakoschke said.
“We’ve struggled a little bit against the stronger players, but the younger players are doing a fantastic job.
“The margins are getting smaller and smaller.”
Kakoschke said while the club had always intended to blood some of its younger players, they had taken on bigger roles than expected to fill the gap left by several players leaving in the off season.
“Ebony Carter is one of our goalers and has come up and done a fantastic job,” Kakoschke said.
“One of the main reasons we brought her up was we were struggling at that end of the court. She’s been consistent every week and starting to make a difference.
“Telia Coverdale is a mid-courter and defender who came up, while Morgan Bleszcz didn’t come up from under-19s, but is just 17.
“We’ve had three come up and there’s one in each area of the court. You can’t tell they are under-19 players.”
Kakoschke said that on top of the players learning how to play together, the side has had to deal with injuries and unavailability.
These factors have hurt them at the attacking end especially, with Carter and Paige Corless only playing a few games together in the shooting circle.
Kakoschke said they were hopeful of having a full team after the bye, which would allow them to be more settled.
“We’ve stayed with teams at least for three quarters and then dropped off,” she said.
“We’ve been two or three – or even maybe five – goals down at three-quarter time, before they run away with it.
“If we can play four quarters, we might get a couple of wins towards the second half of the season.
“The next three matches are against Ballarat teams, which will be a tough few weeks.”
The Bloods’ next match is on Saturday against Sebastopol.