Western Region’s open division netball team is capable of winning a state title, according to coach Mel Starr.
It finished third at the titles in Shepparton on Saturday which was a performance that left its coach ‘thrilled”.
Starr said she would love to see the group continue representing the region next year.
"We can definitely go one step further," she said.
"We were so close to making the grand final and it was really only fatigue and unforced errors after a long day in the sun that knocked us out. I think we could definitely take it to the best in a grand final.
"So it would be great to keep the core group together for interleague and state titles again next year and continuing building on what we achieved this year.
"The girls really enjoy playing together too, and at that next level of competition.
“But ultimately it is down to the league and the region, and also who is around and puts their hand up for selection too."
The Hamilton Kangaroos open division coach set the bar high for her team in the lead up.
Starr said she expected her team to at least play finals.
After doing so the experienced coach said the players could keep their heads held high.
"I think many of the oppositions teams underestimated us," she said.
"Finishing third after finals with the two teams above us comprising of current and past Australian and Victoria Netball League players, the girls did a phenomenal job.
"The most pleasing part about coaching these girls is how well they come together, and the work ethic they take in to every training and game.
"The group gets on so well together and is such a pleasure to work with them and be part of the team."
This was Starr’s first year of coaching the Western Region’s top team.
But already she has expressed her interest in coaching the team for a second year in 2019.
"It’s always great to coach at the next level for my own development," she said.
"And it is important to take those opportunities when they arise in regional areas without the access to VNL.
"I would just like to thank the region for the opportunity to coach.
“And the girls for putting their hands up to represent their region, and doing it so well."
Western Region’s representative campaigns have now ended for the year year.
The team’s next challenge will start again with interleague next season.