Mel Starr is determined to help Cobden experience premiership success.
The 32-year-old, who coached the Hamilton Kangaroos open division team this year, will lead the Bombers for the 2019 Hampden league season.
Starr said she would love to help Cobden, who lost this year’s grand final to Koroit, secure the first open division premiership in the club’s history.
"Obviously the ultimate goal is to go one step further in open and bring home the flag," she said.
"And I’m very confident of that if we can retain the core playing group.
“Patience and commitment to structures and systems when the pressure is on is essential to winning the big games, so we will work on that.
"They did a phenomenal job this year, but the experience of Koroit really gave them an edge, and the Bombers will be all the better off after the challenge thrown at them."
Starr said she was rapt to have inherited a star-studded grand final team, though admitted there was high expectations.
The former Hamilton Kangaroos coach takes over from outgoing mentor Nadine McNamara who led the Bombers for the past three seasons.
"It is definitely a privilege, but it certainly comes with added pressure,” Starr said.
"Nadine has done such an incredible job, she’s left some very big shoes to fill.
"Her and the netball group have set up a really great culture and level of professionalism especially through the open girls, and I’m really looking forward to building on that.
"They are such a passionate hard-working group and it’s been a pleasure to coach them in rep teams. I can’t wait to coach them week in week out.
“Plus I’ve coached six of the open Cobden girls this year through state titles and interleague, and we’ve built strong relationships which put us in a really strong position to build on and they know how I coach already so no one is going in blind.”
The highly-credentialled coach, who has Victorian Netball League experience and coached the Hampden interleague and Western Region team at state titles, opened up on her reasons to switch clubs.
Starr, who is the recreation manager with the Southern Grampians Shire in Hamilton, said a work-life balance was also factored into her decision to move on from Melville Oval.
“It was always a one-season arrangement with me being new to the Hamilton area and the league, and we would reassess at the end of the year,” she said.
“We are lucky to have so much happening in sport and recreation development in Hamilton, and the approach from Cobden was a great opportunity for me to separate work, life and netball.
“But I wish (chairman) John Pepper and the Kangaroos all of the best for the future.”
McNamara has committed to playing with Cobden again in 2019 despite stepping down as coach.