New-look Lady Devils ready for FFV women's state league 1

A NEW-look Ballarat Lady Devils outfit is preparing for a sixth consecutive crusade into Football Federation Victoria’s women’s state league 1.

The side, which features just six players from last year’s senior team, has been training since January in a bid to fast track the youngsters for senior competition.

An off-season exodus has seen 25 senior and development players leave the club’s ranks, paving the way for a new generation of Blockbuster Reds.

Ballarat Red Devils player manager Bernie Curtain says the club is aiming to consolidate on last year’s impressive third, in which it again fell devastatingly short of a promotion to the women’s premier league.

“We’ve always finished third, we’ve always just missed out on promotion and last year was probably our best chance to get promoted,” Curtain said.

“This year holds nothing new for us except for a few teams which are an unknown quantity – we’re just looking to consolidate our position.”

As many as eight new faces are likely to make their way into the senior line-up this year, including North United goal keeper Kate Lyons and Alyson Pym, from Vic Park.

Opportunities may also arise for several of the club’s junior state league athletes.

Curtain said the club faced a huge challenge to get its less experienced players prepared for senior action.

The Lady Devils have already had one serious hit-out this pre-season, going down to Box Hill United 3-0 in the women’s state Knockout Cup.

The side will open its 2014 season with a home game against the Doncaster Rovers on Sunday.