THE arduous task of climbing off the bottom of the Warrnambool and District league ladder is on in earnest at Russells Creek.
The Kangaroos have started preparing for season 2015 in a bid to consign their worst season in years to the history books.
Coach Jay Everall said club officials had met for “a couple of meetings already” in response to posting just one win from the first 16 rounds.
The disappointing return comes after an off-season exodus, which started with incumbent coach Darren Little stepping down.
Zac Pickett, Nick Whiting, Chris Malone, Jayden Askew, Jake Main and Scott Bristol are among other top-tier players who left the club.
But the weakened list has allowed the Kangaroos to blood young talent. Teenager Paddy O’Brien is one player who has benefited from the opportunities.
Everall Is keen to highlight the optimism at Mack Oval.
“We’ve had a couple of meetings already. We’re under no illusions we need to find some more players,” he said.
“We’re trying to get our head around how that’s going to work and how we’ll attack that situation.
“The plan is to get quite a few more guys involved off the field in terms of recruiting … a few guys have put their hands up to help.
“At any club it’s good to have a number of guys actively looking for new players rather than leaving it to two or three.”
Everall, who will coach for a second season in 2015, said he wanted the club to sign recruits who were serious about being part of the rebuild.
“You’ve got to be realistic in terms of where the club is at the moment and where we want to get to in a three-year period,” he said.
“It’s not going to happen across one season. That’s important to take into account for a start.
“We’ll recruit in a fashion where we want guys to not come for just one year but commit for a few years and really see the club start to develop.
“We want them to see through that phase of being competitive, finishing middle of the road and then pushing for finals after that.”
Everall said he had already sounded out the intentions of the existing playing group, with encouraging responses.
None have put pen to paper for next season but “from a verbal perspective everyone is keen, it’ll just be a matter of the club formalising the paperwork”.
The Kangaroos’ latest result was a four-point loss to the Demons at Timboon Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
Their season has also included 200-point-plus hidings from Merrivale and Dennington. Allansford and East Warrnambool lay in wait in the final fortnight.
“We’ve got to go into each game against any of the sides outside the five thinking we’re going to be very competitive,” Everall said.