SOUTH Warrnambool has turned to former coach Leah Kermeen to lead its A grade side next season.
Kermeen, 33, coached the Roosters from 2009 to 2011, taking them to the finals twice.
She replaces Gill Herrmann, who will focus solely on the Roosters’ 17 and under coaching role.
Kermeen highlighted her passion for coaching in an interview with The Standard in July ahead of her 200th Hampden league A grade match.
“Once you are a coach, you’re always a coach,” she said at the time.
The mother-of-three, who made her senior debut with South Warrnambool in 1994 before stints at Port Fairy, Casterton and North Warrnambool, said she was prepared for a second coaching stint.
“My kids are a bit older so I can put a bit of energy into it,” Kermeen said yesterday.
Kermeen earmarked 17 and under players Nell Mitchell, Bridget Smith, Gen O’Connor, Darcy Wilson and Olivia Niddrie for A grade duties.
“Eb Stacey and Britt Hyland had a bit of experience so we’ll look to build on that,” Kermeen said.
“A few girls are heading to uni and most clubs are familiar with that, giving juniors an opportunity and then they head to uni.
“It gives someone else an opportunity to step up.
“We’re speaking to players about returning and new players.
“One of the bonuses is the depth of juniors we have.
“I would envisage in the next two to three years we’ll have a lot of young senior players.”
Kermeen said South Warrnambool would start pre-season at the end of January.
She said the Roosters had changed their selection process, believing it to be a fairer system.
“There are two-week try-outs so all players interested are encouraged to try out for the three senior teams,” she told The Standard.
“Then the teams will be picked and we’ll have an extensive pre-season.
“It’s normally six weeks and at the end of pre-season we pick sides.”
Kermeen said she would play either A grade or A1 next season.
“I’ll wait and see. I had intended to retire to A1 but we’ll see what players we have,” she said.
South Warrnambool netball co-ordinator Trish Pattison said Kermeen was a respected coach who had a great understanding of the game.
Pattison said Kermeen had a wealth of experience and was a leader both on and off the court.
“She’s played a lot of high-level netball and updates her coaching (courses) regularly so she’s on the ball with the latest techniques,” she said.
“Leah has been there for some time and we know her well and she knows us well.
“That helps with familiarity with administration and other coaches.”