BEN Kenna will face his biggest challenge as Kolora-Noorat coach when the Warrnambool and District Football Netball League (WDFNL) season gets under way.
Kenna yesterday confirmed six key players had left the three-time premier during the off-season, cutting at the heart of its key position ranks.
Three of the departures are forwards who kicked a combined 171 goals during 2013, which finished with preliminary final defeat.
Simon Tolland has retired and Sam Moloney will test himself at major league level with Terang Mortlake, while Mark Clissold has joined Simpson.
Frontline onballer Luke Rounds, a former AFL and VFL player, has signed with Doutta Stars in the Essendon and District league.
Kenna also confirmed centre half-back Patrick Moloney was searching for a Melbourne club, having travelled to play for the Power in recent seasons.
WDFNL team of the year ruckman Brodie Edge, who is based in Geelong, will also play football closer to home.
Former J. A. Esam Medallist Brad Johnson is in Western Australia, but the club expects him to be back mid-season.
The mini-exodus has left Kolora-Noorat without the bulk of what was the best spine in the league and robbed it of height entering the 2014 season.
Power recruits include Hamilton Kangaroos onballer Sam Hasell, a cousin of utility Michael Sleeman. Sleeman has committed for a second season at the club.
Half-back Matt Monaghan, who is friends with Hasell, has also crossed from Branxholme-Wallacedale. Both recruits played seniors at their clubs last season.
Kenna said the Power, which starts training on Monday, would likely call on reserves players to fill the other voids.
“The reserves won the premiership and played in the last five grand finals. There is good depth there. Half a dozen guys could step in,” Kenna said.
“A couple of junior guys in Ben Reid and Luke Tebble played last season. They’re a year older. They’ll be getting opportunities this season.
“Both those boys have put the work in. Plus there will be a couple of young lads in there too. They’ll be getting opportunities as well.”
Kenna said the Power was still hunting for recruits. Adding height and goalkicking power to the list is their main priority.
“Everyone is ringing people. We’re confident what we’ve got will still hold us in good stead. We’ll be thereabouts,” Kenna said.
“A couple more bigger guys wouldn’t hurt us. That’s been the killer. It’s probably the most top-end guys we’ve lost in one season.”