IT will be a changing of the guard for Western Region when it attempts to defend the Netball Victoria open state title crown in Melbourne this weekend.
Camperdown’s Rachel Rodger is the only remaining member of the Western Region 2011 team, with eight new faces joining her in this year’s line-up.
New coach Gill Herrmann said the Western Region team would showcase future leaders.
“It’s very different. The Koroit girls have their netball trip this weekend so they weren’t available and neither were the Warrnambool girls,” she said.
“It’s been a bit of a struggle to get players. Once we couldn’t fill it with seniors we went to the under 17s who applied in Skye and Jordan Billings and Annie Blackburn.”
Herrmann said the new-look team would represent the region well.
She said while going back-to-back would be difficult, the Western Region team expected to fight for a finals spot.
“We could play as many as 11 or 12 rounds by the sounds of the number of teams entered,” she said.
“It will be a tough ask for nine players because they will be so tired but a positive is there will not be as many rotations.”
Herrmann said attack would be Western Region’s strong point.
“We’re light on for defenders but we have girls who can fill the midcourt and Narelle (Welsh) will start in shooter,” she said. Kate Lindsay and Fran Bell will coach Western Region’s 15 and unders and Chris Van Kempen guides the 17 and unders.
Van Kempen said versatility was a strength of her team.
“Britt Hyland and Sarah Moroney are a strong defensive combination and Cloe Pulling will look to go to either end of the court,” she said.