Coach: Rob Bennett (new)
Last year: 8th - 4-14
Arrivals: Lachlan Barber, Matthew Boland, Kobe Brown (Pioneers-listed), Kevin Clark, Matthew Clifford, Scott Jansen, Hayden Pyke, Daniel Rees, Brady Rowles (Pioneers-listed).
Departures: Charlie Bowyer, Matt Filo, Tom Harbrow, Sam Maddern, Alex Pearson, Cam Rinaldi, Dane Spear.
Player points: 43
Last flag: 1996
R1: v Sandhurst (h)
R2: v Golden Square (a)
R3: v Gisborne (h)
R4: v Kyneton (a)
Past five years:
2018: 8th - 4-14
2017: 8th - 4-14
2016: 6th - 10-8
2015: 8th - 6-12
2014: 6th - 9-9
Last season's MVP top 5:
Liam Collins - 75
Jono Lanyon - 51
Dylan Klemm - 43
Nick Lang - 42
Ross Turner - 38
Last season's top 5 goalkickers:
Dylan Klemm - 28
Cameron Rinaldi - 19
Corey Greer - 16
Matt Filo - 13
Damian Wust - 9
Q and A with Rob Bennett
What brand of footy can we expect Kangaroo Flat to play this year in your first season as coach?
"Hopefully, at times a quick moving style of footy, but also a strong focus on defensive football as well.
"We've had a good pre-season. We did a lot of work on trying to build up a really strong fitness base before Christmas and then working on our gamestyle."
The list looks to have a lot more experience on it, as well as players who have previously been part of premiership teams. How big a focus was it to not only add some older players, but also ones who have been part of successful teams?
"It was a big focus. We wanted guys who have been successful both individually and also had team success as well because we needed to add that sort of experience around the group.
"The new guys we've signed have all really brought into the style of football we want to play and the club culture we want to put in place."
One of those recruits with a successful background is key forward Matt Boland, who has been part of two WAFL premiership teams with Subiaco. How do you hope that experience can benefit one of your up-and-coming young forwards in Dylan Klemm?
"You can't put a value on the experience he brings. He has worked really closely with our young forwards and will take charge of our forward line throughout the year at training.
"He has plenty of experience in both the WAFL and VFL that he is really keen to put to good use."
What was a young Kangaroo Flat side has been boosted by a significant injection of experience under new coach Rob Bennett.
Bennett is a two-time premiership coach at North Bendigo, but this coaching gig is about rebuilding at a club in which this year marks a decade since its last finals appearance in 2009.
The headline recruit has been the addition of key forward Matt Boland, whose footballing CV includes kicking seven goals and earning the best-on-ground medal for Subiaco in the 2015 WAFL grand final.
The Roos are crying out for some more forward targets given they have lost Cameron Rinaldi to Newbridge and Dylan Klemm (28) was their only player last season to kick more than 20 goals.
While Boland is a big inclusion, one of the major advantages the Roos will have over last year is more midfield depth.
Liam Collins and Jono Lanyon, who have shared the past two best best and fairests, have been forced to shoulder a heavy midfield workload.
But recruits Scott Jansen, Hayden Pyke - who Bennett has described as a "contested ball beast" - Daniel Rees and new assistant coach Matthew Clifford, a utility who can play key position at either end of the ground, are all players who can rotate through the midfield.
Clifford and Jansen have both played in premiership teams with Hastings and the skilful Rees is a multiple premiership player with Hepburn.
With centre half-back his likely starting position, Clifford, Pyke (centre) and Boland (full-forward) give the Roos' spine a new look, while in a big positive for the side former co-coach Corey Greer has had a big pre-season and can offer the Roos both a midfield and forward option.
Greer's return to the field last season was one of the feelgood stories of the year for the Roos given a displaced veterbral disc in 2017 threatened to end his career.
The Roos will be hoping for some more feelgood stories this year - most notably a greater return on their four wins of the past two seasons and some significant inroads back towards some long-awaited September action.
Sandhurst, long-time nemesis Golden Square and Gisborne in their first three games will help to paint an early picture of just how improved the Roos should be.
Practice matches - v Nyah Nyah West United (March 23 at Nyah), v Mallee Eagles (March 30 at Kangaroo Flat).
Related: BFNL preview - Golden Square
Related: BFNL preview - Gisborne
Related: BFNL preview - Eaglehawk
Related: BFNL preview - Castlemaine
Coach: Jayden Cowling (second year)
Last year: Third
Arrivals: Rachel McKenzie, Emma Moroney, Ella Wicks.
Departures: Ruby Barkmeyer, Danielle Markwell.
Coaching panel: Coaching panel: Jayden Cowling (head coach and A-grade); Karly Elvey (A-reserve); Nina Cass (A-reserve assistant and B-grade); Laura Brooks (B-reserve); Bree Bentley (17-and-under).
Last five years: Third (2018); fourth (2017); premiers (2016); fifth (2015); premiers (2014).
Q and A with coach Jayden Cowling
How has your preparation been for the coming season?
"We've had a couple of injuries early on, so we've been resting some players to get them ready for round one. It will be a bit of a different looking side to last year, with a few inclusions.
"The girls have been training really hard and our practice matches have been good."
You finished third after finals and put in a couple of very handy performances against the premiers Sandhurst (a draw and a narrow three goal loss). Top three must be the goal again?
"Obviously we were close, getting into that preliminary final, but that's something we really want to improve on. I know the girls are keen to get out there and prove that last year was no fluke and that we can go all the way this year.
"It won't be easy, you hear the grand finalists from last year - Sandhurst and Gisborne - have a couple of departures, but have some good arrivals and will be just as strong as last year, if not stronger. That's where we will need to up our game.
"Golden Square will be a fairly young and new-looking side and be a force to be reckoned with and South will be improved and Kyneton after winning the A-reserve grand final will be tough. There will be no easy games in the BFNL."
In terms of player gains and losses, you have lost Ruby Barkmeyer, but gained Rachel McKenzie back from Gisborne. It must be great to have Rachel back?
"She is a massive gain. Obviously losing Ruby is a massive loss to our shooting stocks, but all the shooters we have training are putting their hand up for selection. We have five or six goal shooters who are putting their hand up for A-grade selection and are all working hard.
"It's creating plenty of competition and it's helping build a culture of girls wanting to play A-grade. We have Julia Clarke who has been training really hard, who played in the A-reserve grand final alongside Annie Spear. Those two girls are up for selection, as well as Rachel McKenzie who has come back from Gisborne. And we do still have our goalers from last year Adrienne (Murphy) and Brook (Lawry). There's no shortage at this stage."
After a fourth place finish in 2017, Kangaroo Flat went one better last year to end up in third spot.
It was another super effort by the Roos, who built on their proud finals record to snare wins against Golden Square (elimination final) and Eaglehawk (semi-final) before bowing out against eventual premiers Sandhurst in a hard-fought preliminary final.
The Roos did as well as any team - outside Gisborne - against the Dragons, their three encounters ending in a three-goal loss and a draw before a 12 goal finals defeat, highlighting their remarkable depth of talent.
They will begin the new season minus two of their stars in young shooter Ruby Barkmeyer and defender Danielle Markwell, who proved her class with a top-three finish in last season's Betty Thompson Medal count behind Gisborne's Maddy Stewart and Eaglehawks Ash Ryan.
The Roos, however, have been bolstered by the return of Rachel McKenzie after a few seasons with Gisborne, and the elevation of last season's 17-and-under league best and fairest Ella Wicks.
They add to an exciting talent base headed by, but by no means limited to star centre Chelsea Sartori, 2018 best and fairest Ingrid Hopkins and midcourter Milly Wicks.
The loss of Barkmeyer is not an entirely new predicament for the club - the Roos did start last season without the gun shooter, who also missed games during the season following her return.
Fortunately, the Roos are well stocked for shooters through Adrienne Murphy, Brook Lawry, the returning McKenzie, and A-reserve grand final pair Annie Spear and Julia Clarke, and have plenty of depth in other areas of the court after contesting consecutive A-reserve premiership deciders.
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