Ballarat District Soccer Association power Warrnambool Rangers trounces North United

IDEAL REPLACEMENT: Warrnambool Rangers' Tom Cowling will fill Isaac Slater's void as a centre midfielder, according to first-year coach Rob Andrews. Picture: Rob Gunstone
IDEAL REPLACEMENT: Warrnambool Rangers' Tom Cowling will fill Isaac Slater's void as a centre midfielder, according to first-year coach Rob Andrews. Picture: Rob Gunstone

WARRNAMBOOL Rangers are confident they can remain atop the Ballarat District Soccer Association ladder despite an unsettled line up.

The Rangers, who trounced North United 12-3 at Jones Oval on Sunday, have lost centre midfielder Isaac Slater and English import Elliott Bradley for the remainder of the season.

Slater booted three goals in his final game before an overseas adventure, while Bradley will return to his native UK. 

Goal keeper Cameron Jennings will miss the next two weeks due to a holiday and captain Liam Priestley’s overseas trip will keep him sidelined until the finals.

First-year Rangers coach Rob Andrews believes the team can adjust to the merry-go-round changes.

Cowling, who converted two goals against North United, has played the past four matches after returning to Warrnambool from university and will replace Slater.

“They are quite similar players and I am fully confident Tom can step up and do the role,” Andrews said.

“Tom is a best and fairest winner two years ago so he’s got credentials behind him.”

Andrews said the Rangers would embrace challenges against third-placed Buninyong and second-ranked Sebastopol over the next two rounds.

“They’re season-defining. If we pick up six points in the next two games I am confident the league (finishing on top) will be ours,” he said.

Emily Whelan, Izzy Wilkinson, Angie Paspaliaris and captain Shkara Rantall scored in the Rangers’ 4-1 win over fellow top-three outfit Ballarat Eureka Strikers on Sunday.