The race to the Goulburn Valley League A-grade netball premiership has opened up, with a new-look Kyabram side to take to the court this year.
While Kyabram was a step above the competition last season after tracking through it undefeated, a series of changes will hamper its tilt for three in a row.
Two-time Wellman Family medallist Steph Vick will have a year off and is just one of the high profile players not pulling on the Bombers’ dress this season.
Three-time league best-and-fairest Ash Mangan is also giving this season a miss, as will star shooter Elle Groves.
The end of last year’s impeccable reign also marked the departure of premiership coach Belinda Lees, who will focus on state coaching commitments.
As a result, captain Lauren Pryde will join with midcourt players Holly Butler and Sharni Clark as co-coaches of the A and B squad.
Netball co-ordinator Michelle Sing said the four outs would leave a hole in the side, but she was pleased the club had filled Lees’ position internally.
‘‘I think it was their skill and what they’ve achieved (that made the trio ideal candidates) and we really wanted to encapsulate that and make the juniors feel confident, particularly with the calibre of play that the A-grade has shown,’’ she said.
‘‘Lauren’s achievements in itself have certainly been proven and she has a natural ability when it comes to netball.
‘‘We have lost a few, but it’s a natural movement in some respects, Lees will be missed without a doubt, but that’s the natural occurrence with young women in sport.’’
Kyabram has won 24 matches in a row and looks to continue that run when the it meets Mooroopna in the first round of the season.