New Illawarra Stingrays coach Steve Srbinovski has put his trust in the club's young guns in the quest for NSW Women's Premier League supremacy.
After winning three straight minor premierships and three consecutive grand finals, the Stingrays fell short last year, coming from third spot to reach the grand final before losing 2-0 to Macarthur.
It wasn't a complete failure, as Illawarra captured the prestigious club championship for the first time.
A number of senior players left in the off-season, including experienced goalkeeper Dimi Poulos. But Srbinovski is confident the Stingrays will remain highly competitive.
"There's probably about half a dozen players who have moved on," Srbinovski said.
"The aim of the club is to utilise the players you've got instead of losing them. We're taking a new path and pushing the youth straight through the system, so our reserves are more or less under-18s because we're really trying to develop them."
Srbinovski has been involved with coaching at various levels for the past 20 years.
Most recently he was at the helm of Wests Illawarra.
"It's sort of a new challenge, but I've always been involved in my daughters' teams and coached them, so I've got experience coaching girls, directly and indirectly," he said.
"Girls are easier to coach because they don't talk back. They just do the work and that's it. They're a lot more responsive and they play a lot more technically.
"Blokes rely on their strength sometimes, whereas girls rely on technique. At this level they're very technically oriented."
Srbinovski says he has been very impressed with long-serving Illawarra captain Michelle Carney, particularly "the way she guides the youngsters around".
Illawarra opens its season against Northern Tigers on March 24.