WAGGA City Wanderers coach Dave Leonard is confident the side will be better placed to enjoy a better start to the season next year as he prepares for his second campaign in charge.
The Wanderers lost their first five games last year, but found their feet somewhat towards the back end to secure four wins.
Although replacing key attacking player Luke Stephens after his move to National Premier League Two rivals Tuggeranong United will be tough, Leonard expects to retain the vast majority of the squad.
He also hopes to entice a couple of the standout players in the local Pascoe Cup competition to commit to playing, and the club will retain a focus on developing from within.
"We want to keep trying to build and it's hard to achieve that with just one season (as coach)," Leonard said.
"There'll be a couple of personnel changes but basically 90 per cent of the playing group we'll still have, plus a couple of extras hopefully.
"The loss of Luke Stephens it's a tough one, he was definitely a huge x-factor for us. In saying that this club is about allowing local talent to get noticed and there's people that Tuggeranong know higher up who could help him progress."
The Wanderers have elected to play without any imports for the past couple of seasons, and Leonard is confident the talent coming from below in the under-18s in particular, who finished just outside the top four in the top division this year, is promising.
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"We'll go head hunting a bit and find a couple of players we believe should be playing at a higher level (in the Pascoe Cup), it's just making that travel commitment," Leonard said.
"We've elected to rely on the local talent and there's plenty about, we'll keep building on that and create pathways for these guys to move onto bigger and better things.
"We blooded a couple of the 18s last season, and Samson Lucas became a really important player for us in the end."
Leonard said creating a united dressing room is an easier task when it's built around local players.
"It would be nice to bring in some higher profile players but it's not what we're about. We tried that years ago and it didn't work, it tends to be harder to create a culture when you bring in outside players," he said.
"It'd be great to grab some key players (from outside) but we're set on developing our own youth and Riverina region players.
"It will be another challenging season no doubt, the Canberra teams are spending big money again with promotion and relegation.
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