SOUTH Warrnambool will be without reigning Hampden league best and fairest Ally O'Connor in 2022 but coach Will Jamison says her departure will present more opportunity through midcourt.
O'Connor, who was selected for Victorian Fury's Australian Netball Championships squad in 2021, will play in Geelong.
Jamison said the talented centre was a "significant loss" but felt it was a chance for another player to step up.
It leaves a gap but it's a massive opportunity for someone to step up.- Will Jamison
"She's been a stalwart of South Warrnambool for a long time," Jamison said.
"We knew she'd play in Geelong at some point but we just didn't know when that would happen. It leaves a gap but it's a massive opportunity for someone to step up.
"She's always welcome at South and just because she isn't playing doesn't mean she isn't playing a significant part in our club and our culture."
Jamison was an assistant coach to Leesa Battistello in 2021. The duo switched roles in the off-season but are still working closely to push the Roosters back to Hampden league finals. "While we've had a bit of a positional switch, we're still working really closely together," he said.
"We deliberately didn't seek to recruit new players in the off-season because we're really comfortable with our playing group (in open).
"It's about using what we've built already as a bit of a springboard. I believe we've got the group and it's just about maintaining that and continuing our significant growth."
The second-placed Roosters were bound for finals in 2021 but COVID-19 restrictions thwarted their bid for a premiership.
Jamison, who is navigating life as a new father, said South would continue a "fast, intense" brand of netball.
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"We've got that youth on our side and I think we've got the strength to bring a physicality to our game," he said.
"I think we can implement some new zones and structures and tighten up that area."
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