CASTLEMAINE has put an urgent call out for netballers for the 2017 Bendigo Football Netball League season.
The Magpies struggled with player numbers last season and finished the A-grade season without a win.
They did not field a 17-and-under team and were also without a B-grade team for the bulk of the season.
The Magpies are keen to avoid a repeat and have stepped up their efforts on the recruiting front in recent weeks.
Club secretary Lorelle Huntly said the club was fortunate to sign a couple of players on the weekend, but more were needed if the club was to fulfill its goal of having four senior and a 17-and-under team.
The Magpies are leaving no stone unturned in their bid to entice players to Camp Reserve and will for the first time hold try-out dates in Bendigo during January.
"We are hoping this makes it easy for some Bendigoians to get to," Huntly said.
"We are also considering holding some training sessions in Bendigo to help alleviate some travel which might make it more of a consideration for players.
"Everyone is most welcome to come along - I guess most of the other BFNL teams will be pretty settled by then, so if someone has missed out, or wasn't thinking about playing but now is, there's an opportunity there for them."
Huntly said along with player retention and recruitment, a priority was signing an A grade coach for next season.
She said the club had interviewed a few candidates with a decision likely in the new year.
Huntly said the atmosphere on the football front at Castlemaine was positive following the signing of BFNL legend Derrick Filo and it was hoped this would rub off on the club's netball operations.
"With the points system, (Bendigo) football is going to be a bit more even and if your football team starts winning more games there could be a positive on-flow," she said.
Huntly said the club had received tremendous support in their push to attract players for the BFNL and also central Victoria netball identity Mali Roberts, who runs a netball consulting business and will next season coach rival club Eaglehawk.
The Magpies will hold try-outs at the Bendigo South East College Flora Hill courts on January 25 and 29.
Players interested in joining Castlemaine or finding out more about netball opportunities with the Magpies should contact netball co-ordinator Hayley Kinross on 0431 059 220 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Lorelle Huntly on 0438 552 823.