The Sunbury Kangaroos have had a less than ideal pre-season, but the Riddell District Football League side is confident they’ll still be in the mix in 2018.

The Kangaroos have lost a big chunk of their senior group from last season, leaving the side behind the eight-ball heading into the second part of the pre-season.

New Kangaroos coach Anthony Leydin said it wasn’t the ideal situation coming into a new club, but it definitely wasn’t all doom and gloom.

“We knew early in the piece there would be some changes,” he said.

“It picked up later on and there’s a fair chunk of our senior side gone.

“There’s about a dozen or so. Some got better offers and others wanted a change of scenery.”

Among the outs for the Kangaroos, who finished sixth last season, are David House, Phil Lobb, Mitch Farmer, Ryan Pretty, Dylan Wright, Kayne Murphy, Darragh McGovern and Chris Petroro.

Despite the situation, Leydin said it wasn’t something that he was daunted by and he was looking forward to the challenge.

At Leydin’s last coaching role at Tullamarine, he took a side which lost a big chunk of its list to an Essendon District Football League division 1 preliminary final, before making the grand final the season after.

“I’m not conceding anything and I’m not daunted by the challenge,” he said. “I’ve been in similar situations. It would be nice to have a full list. It’s a challenge but the group has been fantastic.”

Leydin said they were still talking to potential players and were looking to add some top quality midfielders to add to the squad.

They are also looking for an assistant coach.

“We are playing catch-up,” he said.

“We’re looking for either a playing or non-playing assistant coach that can also help stretch our network.

“If we could get three to four young midfielders we think we’ll be fine. We think we’ve got a good defence and forward line and some good midfielders, but need a bit more depth in the middle. We can make some really attractive offers to players who tick the right boxes.”

Leydin said that some reserves players would also have the opportunity to step up and try and gain senior spots. The Kangaroos reserves won the grand final, their third in four years.

“So far I can’t be critical of their endeavours and commitment. Blokes are putting their heads down and rising to the challenge.”

Anyone interested in the coaching role or playing for the Kangaroos can contact president Al Walters on 0400 408 019 or vice president or 0423 402 606.