A blockbuster will open up the Kyabram District Netball League season.
Last year’s grand finalists Nagambie and Tallygaroopna will go head-to-head for the first time this year after one of the most gruelling grand finals in recent years.
While the Lakers experienced relief when they were ahead on the scoreboard after extra time, the Redlegs yet again were the side left on the wrong end of a close scoreline.
But their aim of reaching the big dance again was dealt a blow when playing coach Julie Telford decided to again try her hand at playing in the Goulburn Valley League.
Lisa Crosier has taken the reins boasting GVL experience herself at Mansfield and will usher through this year’s talents.
Competition for spots will again be high in the Redlegs’ squad with numbers always strong at tryouts for the popular club.
But the Lakers stand as firm favourites in the match with Abby Misiti re-entering the fold after giving birth last year.
Her leadership on court is immense and will help combat the loss of Katie Sullivan as young players will help fill the absence of Rachael Mundy in defence.
Violet Town is unlikely to replicate a solid season like last year where it finished seventh while producing some competitive netball.
A host of players left along with coach Pip O’Donoghue, but the Towners can ease into the year against Girgarre.
Welcoming a new coach in Chloe Mitchell, the midcourt ace will be looking to find her feet in her first attempt at being an A-grade coach.
The ex-Mathoura coach has plenty of knowledge to impart and the Kangaroos are capable of rising from last year’s 11th-placed finish.
Ardmona’s netball numbers were affected by troubles with the football as it meets a new-look Lancaster side.
The Wombats will need to find a new way to score goals with Leanna Couston no longer a fixture in the side, but new players will be given the opportunity to impress early.
In recent years the thought of Merrigum defeating Avenel would have been inconceivable.
But the Swans will be almost totally unrecognisable from previous years allowing Louise Richards to aim for a win in her first game in charge of the Bulldogs.
Longwood will do its best against Rushworth with the Redlegs again on the rebuild as coach Toni Watson works with an entirely new side although the Tigers have plenty of enthusiasm coming from their new co-coaches Katrina Ogden and Christie Thomas.
Undera, as well as Dookie United which has joined the league from Picola District Football Netball League, will have a bye.