Melton Centrals will enter the Riddell District Netball League season unsure where they fit in.
One of the most stable teams in recent years, Centrals have had a number of off season changes.
In his 10th year as coach, Centrals’ Randy Pereira said he’d never experienced so many changes to the top side in one season.
He said this season would be a little bit of an unknown due to the number of changes.
“Last year we had two or three changes and that was a lot,” he said.
“[This season] Only Jess May and Bec [Morabito] are the definite players from the preliminary final starting seven.
“Sally [Portbury] has started a new job, but we’re hoping she’ll be able to fill in.
“We’re still talking to Rachel Dovaston and fingers crossed she’ll play some games as well.”
In a big boost for Centrals, Melissa Laird is returning after not playing last season. Laird, who has represented the league previously, was one of the top defenders in the competition, and Pereira said he was thrilled to have her back on court.
“If we had her last season, I think we may have made the grand final.”
Katie Hepburn, who previously played with Shepparton United, also joins Centrals and will join Morabito in the shooting circle.
They’ve also picked up Jess Clayton and plan to promote a couple of younger players.
Rita White-Kay, who formed the shooting combination with Morabito last season, will miss this year with a knee injury.
Pereira said he expected the B-grade side to be a strong team, while they would have a young C-grade side which had a bit of height.
He expected them to be in the mix for finals.
The under-19 team will also be a young team, with most players eligible to play under-17s.
Centrals start their season on Saturday at home against Rockbank.
There will be just 10 clubs in A-grade as Lancefield and Sunbury Kangaroos will not field teams.
Pereira said it was disappointing that yet again there wasn’t a full complement of teams.
Diggers Rest will start their season against Romsey on Saturday.
On the first weekend of the split opening round, Macedon held strong against Riddell in a brilliant start to win 32-18.
In the other match, Rupertswood proved too strong for Woodend-Hesket, winning 61-35.