ALLANSFORD co-coaches Ben Holloway and Brett Membrey are putting their focus on youth.
The newly-appointed Cats leaders are keen to put solid foundations in place during 2017 to help the Cats build back towards a finals appearance after enduring a bumpy off-season.
“There’ll be a fair turnover of players, but we see it as a great opportunity to blood young kids,” Holloway said.
“If we can get 10-12 games into six or seven juniors, it'll be a good platform for the next year.”
However the coaches were hopeful that, now the club has its leaders in place, they may be able to coax back some players who had considered moving on but not yet committed elsewhere.
Holloway, who has previously mentored Cats’ under 17.5 and reserves sides, said he and Membrey would look at former Allansford players as they begin recruiting.
“Out first aim will be to go through our own list (from recent seasons)… there’s definitely an opportunity there to bring in two or three experienced blokes because we obviously need those experienced blokes around the young kids,” he said.
The pair, who are both dairy farmers, said having someone to share the workload with made their move into senior coaching possible.
“Neither of us would’ve been able to do it otherwise – we milk a combined total of 1400 or 1500 cows,” Holloway said.
Next season will mark Membrey’s first as coach, but he has plenty of playing experience to draw on, having returned to his junior club Allansford five years ago, following stints with the Geelong Falcons, Gippland league team Moe and Hampden club Terang Mortlake.
“I’ve always had on-field leadership; hopefully I can turn that into off-field leadership as well,” he said.
“It’s exciting times (at the club) with those young kids coming through.”
Allansford president Toby Holloway said the Cats were excited to welcome the pair on board as senior coaches, while the club’s new netball facilities were nearing completion.
“The new netball facilities show be up and going by the start of next year and the ground is probably in one of the best shapes it’s been,” he said.
The Cats will launch their pre-season on December 2.