WARRNAMBOOL Mermaids will get the chance to ease into their new Big V grade, with four of their first five division two games at home.
The competition’s 2012 division one premier will take a new-look, fast-paced side into the 2013 season.
Katie O’Keefe’s side will also get a bearing on its competition, with a bye scheduled for round one allowing it to scope out its new opponents.
The Big V season tips off on March 16.
Warrnambool Seahawks, under co-coaches Tim Gainey and Rebel Noter, start their division one men’s campaign with a road trip against reigning division two premier Craigieburn Eagles on opening night.
The Seahawks and Mermaids play the first of eight home double-headers in round two on March 23.
The men’s side will play three stand-alone home games, while the Mermaids have two stand-alone fixtures at the Arc.
O’Keefe said it was important the bulk of Warrnambool’s home games were together to maximise attendance and for financial reasons.
The Mermaids had opted to sit out the 2013 season due to a lack of numbers before a request for late entry was granted in January.
It forced a reshuffle of draws.
O’Keefe said she was pleased the two Warrnambool sides had eight double-headers.
“The league did that for us and that was nice of them. It helps finance costs for the committee,” she said. The Mermaids are yet to finalise their playing roster, which will include teenage rising stars Annie Blackburn, Olivia Krygger and Maggie Baker.
O’Keefe said the Mermaids had been training well and were well prepared for what could be a tough initiation into division two.
The Mermaids will play 20 home-and-away games.
“It’s a tough fixture but as long as we can get some transport on the Sunday games and the girls can drive up together, it’s not too bad,” O’Keefe said.
Gainey said the Seahawks were content with their 22-game draw, which includes an even share of games at home and away.
“Craigieburn won division two last year, so they will be pretty good. Everyone else is pretty similar,” he said.
Gainey said the Seahawks hoped to unveil an import, someone of similar ability to former Big V most valuable player Cam Mitchell, in the coming weeks.
He said the experienced import would complement the Seahawks’ young outfit.
“It’s a long process but it’s pretty much a brand new team,” he said.
“It’s a whole new direction.
“They are willing to work. Everyone is out training from start to finish.
“I think they are progressing a lot. A lot are coming from the CBL (Country Basketball League) season and have carried that form.
“A lot of young guys have played Vic Country or Vic state, so they know how to play a bit.”