It’s going to take some time for Bacchus Marsh to settle into this year’s Ballarat Netball League season.
With only two players returning from last season, when the Cobras returned to finals after a number of years, it will be a new-look youthful side taking to the court this season.
Cobras’ coach Michael Saker said he is confident in what the side could do, but he knows it will take some time.
“There’s only two players from last year’s team still at the club,” he said.
“We’ve recruited a few players and brought some players up from under-19s.
“I don’t think we’ve lost anything in the mid court, we still have Megg [Collins] and Kayla [Ingham] and they are just as good as anyone.
“We’re feeling strong in the attacking end. It’s about getting the two new girls combining in defence and putting things into place.”
Saker said there were a number of different reasons for the changes to the playing group.
He said most of the group this year was under the age of 22.
Mia and Matilda White (not sisters) have been given the starting roles in the defensive end.
Mia has claimed the club’s B-grade best and fairest the past two seasons, and Saker said he was keen to give her an opportunity.
Both Mia and Matilda played in the club’s under-19 team last season.
Ashlee Mitchell and Annie Hills form a new-look goaling circle, while midcourter Marie Bolitho comes across from Rockbank.
Saker got his first glimpse of the new side in round one, when they faced reigning premiers North Ballarat City.
He said there were some good signs early on, but they weren’t able to do it for long enough.
“We played well for a half of netball,” he said. “We weren’t in the contest after half-time.
“We faded out in the third quarter … We had basic errors and got lazy.
“We didn’t capitalise on their errors and against quality sides like North Ballarat City you can’t do that. They won the flag last year.”
Saker said it was that consistency that would be the biggest key for them this season as they look to remain one of the top sides.
Bacchus Marsh this week face cross-town rival Darley.
In other matches this week, Melton South face the Sunbury Lions, while Melton takes on East Point.