WARRNAMBOOL Rangers coach Nick van Rooy has tempered expectations on his division one side ahead of its Ballarat and District Soccer Association season-opener on Sunday.
The 2013 minor premiers, who were bundled out of the finals in straight sets, have lost four regulars and will field a new-look team.
Winger Shannon Kearns, midfield pair Corrie Shields and Sam Dart and striker James Coghlan-West have departed.
Van Rooy said Adam Bennett had returned and would fill a role in defence, while its reserves players could be called on to help out the senior team.
Warrnambool plays Vic Park in Ballarat on Sunday.
“The expectation is to see how we go,” van Rooy said. “It is a young team this year so it is to see how we develop as a team.
“I have realistic goals and it’s top three.”
The second-year coach said he would implement a similar game style.
“It will all depend on how the team works together,” van Rooy said.
“We are trying to develop into a short- passing team, instead of long passing.
“It’s a lot cleaner and nicer to watch and it encourages people to do a bit more running.”
Van Rooy said the Rangers had 22 players for their division one and two men’s sides at the moment.
He expects the club to pick up more players in the coming weeks.
Warrnambool will field an inexperienced women’s team this season.
Raya Rantall, the oldest in the squad at 22, said the Rangers had a host of new faces.
She said seven players remained from the 2013 squad, which made finals.
The Rangers’ youngest player this season is 13.
Rantall said Warrnambool had spent the bulk of its pre-season on skills development.
The Rangers’ under 17 and under 15 teams start their seasons on April 6.