NEW Western Region coach Sophie Barr wants to take a youthful side to the Netball Victoria state titles.
Barr, 23, will take the reins at the October championships and has already started the process of selecting a team.
The North Warrnambool Eagles centre, who also plays in the Victorian Netball League each week, said it was important Western Region looked at its long-term future.
She expects the bulk of the team to feature players under 25.
“I haven’t been around to play it for a few years and they have always struggled to get players to play,” Barr said.
“Marg Morgan approached me to do it with the hope of getting younger players to play, people my age and below.
“Stacey O’Sullivan coached last year and that age group has been so dominant and so good at representing the (Hampden) league and region, but as they are getting older and retiring we need to fill the gap.” Barr wants players who represented their leagues at junior level to re-engage at senior level.
She will pick a team of between 10 and 12 players for the tournament to ensure Western Region has ample cover for injuries and enough rotations.
Barr said the chance to coach a senior team was ideal for her on a personal level.
“I have done a lot of coaching of juniors in Melbourne and juniors back home but I’d love to coach in future so it’s good to get a taste of it (with a senior side),” she said. “Playing VNL the past five years and having been coached at the highest level in Victoria, I feel I have some stuff I can contribute and give back.”
Western Region finished third out of nine open teams at the 2013 state championships.
Interested players can contact Western Region liaison officer Marg Morgan on 0407 862 866 or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Western Region finalised its junior teams on Friday.