Lancefield will be looking to the future in next year’s Riddell District Netball League season.

With a new coaching panel and several changes to the playing group, the Tigers know that it won’t be an easy year.

But new coach Michelle Rix is excited for the challenge ahead.

Rix, who was looking at being captain-coach of the B-grade side, has now taken on the coaching role for both teams.

She’s also an assistant coach with Boroondara’s Victorian Netball League division 1 team.

Rix has had a long association with the RDNL and Lancefield.

She’s been involved in the league for 30 years, with about half of those at the Tigers.

Rix has coached RDNL interleague and regional state league teams, and spent a few years as the under-19 coach at Riddell, before returning to Lancefield this year.

She said there would be exciting times ahead for the club, which is taking a long term approach.

Many of this year’s grand final team aren’t returning, with several following former coach Alan Watson to Melton South.

“We’re under no illusions that this is a rebuilding year for us,” Rix said. “Player-wise we will be undermanned, but it’s about putting together a culture of playing for the love of the club.

“It will test us at times, but we’ll make sure we have a lot of fun.”

Rix said some of the younger players would get their opportunities next year, while some former players are returning to the club.

Stacey Deimos returns to the Tigers and will be Rix’s assistant coach, as well as coaching the under-17s and playing in the A-grade team. Deimos was part of Romsey’s A-grade premiership team this year.

Rix said they would welcome any players interested in joining the club.

“There’s a bit of change happening at Lancefield,” she said. “The whole club is making sure we have the right culture in place for long term growth.”

The Tigers held their first training session last week.