NEW Kangaroo Flat coach Jayden Cowling is confident his side can be a force despite the loss of two key playing personnel.
The Roos will enter the 2018 BFNL netball season without their deadly accurate goal circle pairing of Ruby Barkmeyer and Jamie Lee Clohesy.
State and national under-age goal shooter Barkmeyer will concentrate on Victorian Netball League commitments with Geelong Cougars in 2018, while Clohesy, a North Central representative last season, has joined former coach Janelle Hobbs at South Bendigo.
The pair were teammates in Kangaroo Flat’s 2016 premiership win against Golden Square, while Barkmeyer was best-on-court in last season’s VNL under-19 grand final.
Cowling said the club had known for some time of the player losses, but was working relentlessly on uncovering a new pairing, with some strong candidates emerging.
“Losing two goalers, who were part of our (2016) premiership is a huge loss,” he said.
“But we’ve gained Brooke Lawry, who played at South Bendigo last year and played at Kangaroo Flat in years previous to that.
“We also have the likes of Annie Spear, who has come back to the club.”
Spear made headlines in 2014, when as a 14-year-old, she scored 100 goals in a 17-and-under game for the Roos in a 114-13 win against Kyneton.
Later that year she played in Kangaroo Flat’s 17-and-under premiership win and was on-court for the final minutes of the Roos’ A-grade premiership win against Golden Square.
Cowling said Adrienne Murphy, who was one of the stars of the Roos’ 2017 A-reserve premiership win against Sandhurst, would also compete for a position in goals.
“It’s going to be a new-look Kangaroo Flat, which is very exciting,” he said.
“There’s quite a few of the girls from that A-reserve premiership side that could be playing A-grade this season.
“We haven’t set our teams yet, so the door is wide open.”
The Roos were inundated with interest in their pre-season tryouts, with more than 120 senior and junior netballers turning out.
After finishing fourth last season, the Roos open the 2018 BFNL season at Gisborne on April 14.
Their first home game is against Kyneton on April 21.