Hamilton Kangaroos are losing three important players but new coach Gerard FitzGerald has a plan.
Tyrone Ross, Josh Pepper and Jandre Slabbert are departing the club.
FitzGerald said Ballarat-based Ross had accepted an assistant coaching job at Buninyong in the Central Highlands Football League.
He added Slabbert, who played 14 times this year, had relocated to Melbourne for work.
Both Ross and Slabbert played for FitzGerald when he was coach of the North Ballarat Roosters in the VFL.
Pepper, who played 17 matches this season, is returning to Branxholme-Wallacedale in the South West District league.
"The isolation of towns and communities like Hamilton - it can be a strength and a threat," FitzGerald said.
"What I'm trying to set up is a sustainable model where talented players from Hamilton and the wider region come in to play for Hamilton in the Hampden league.
"It's building a model the community will be proud of and to have sustainable success."
The Kangaroos' new mentor said the club recently had an induction night.
"I explained my philosophy and what we're going to try to achieve is sustainable growth from within," he said.
"I have a view that the capacity of Hamilton is that if we explore the resources from within then we can set up a framework for success down the track."
FitzGerald said the club was about to start a coaching academy with the first session on Monday.
He and Glenn Kane will lead a series of sessions aimed to develop the next crop of coaches within the club.
"He's got a fantastic background in football and education," FitzGerald said of Kane.
The club will start pre-season training on Wednesday, December 4.
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