South Colac officials are confident a host of dominant lower-grade netballers can fill the void of four departing A Grade premiership players in 2017.
The reigning champions will enter their title defence without Shelley Scott, Chelsea Speirs, Stacey McNamara and Emily Ryan.
Decorated Colac district netballer turned AFL Women’s footballer Scott, has opted to step away from the sport to focus on football, while fellow midcourt-general Speirs has taken a season off.
Defenders Ryan and McNamara, who is preparing for motherhood, will also be absent in 2017.
But Mitchell said she was using the loss of the players, who share seven premiership medallions between them, as an opportunity to promote the club’s lower-grade netballers into the senior ranks.
“It’s definitely a changing of the guard,” she said.
“We’ve had so much success over the last four or five years and mainly with the same team, so it is time to change.
“But I don’t look at it as a bad thing; I look at it as the next lot of girls coming through and the club’s future.”
Netballers like Erin McKean, Maddy Bartlett, Kate Mulgrew, Sarah Rye and Hannah Perkins are all likely to play A Grade netball after dominating the B and C Grade competitions for South in recent seasons.
Mitchell said the absence of someone like Speirs, who has played in the past four A Grade grand finals, would present someone like McKean with an opportunity to test herself at a higher level.
“With Chelsea it will give someone like Erin a chance, because she’s probably been unlucky not to have played A Grade,” she said.
For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.