Luke Marko Rawlings is looking forward to the challenge of leading reigning premier Romsey in this year’s Riddell District Netball League season.

Marko Rawlings, a talented state representative netballer, takes over the role from Lena Way, who stood down after two seasons.

In those two years, Way took a club that was struggling to field an A-grade team six weeks out from the 2016 season to a premiership last year.

The Redbacks defeated Lancefield 56-40 in the grand final.

Marko Rawlings said the chance to coach the Redbacks was one he jumped at.

“My sister [Alicija Marko Rawlings] has played in the Riddell league the last couple of years,” he said. “She’s played at Diggers and I’ve watched her play. I’ve got a couple of friends that play at Romsey … they said: ‘We know you know a lot about netball – do you want to come down and coach?’

“I thought, why not give it a crack?”

Marko Rawlings has previously coached at junior and senior levels. He’s hoping that knowledge and experience from playing at a high level will hold him in good stead.

Last year, he was part of the Victorian men’s under-23 state team.

“I’ve learnt a lot through state representative netball,” he said.

“I think I can bring that high level of knowledge and energy to Romsey.”

Marko Rawlings is keeping his cards close to his chest regarding this year’s line-up, but said there would be changes to the side. He knows there will be pressure on the reigning premiers.

“We have lost a few players,” he said. “We’re still in the signing of contract phase, but we’re looking to improve and have got some good players coming in.”

One confirmed out is Stacey Deimos, who has joined Lancefield.

A-grade goaler Chelsea Ross will assist Marko Rawlings, helping on the attacking end. Ross will also continue coaching the Redbacks’ B-grade side.

“She’s been one of the main drivers in getting me to coach,” he said.

“My strength is the defence, while Chelsea’s is the attacking end, which is awesome for me.”

Romsey’s season will get under way against Diggers Rest on April 14.