Mid Coast Football Herald Women's Premier League coach Mick Grass said he is close to finalising his first grade squad for next year's competition.
Grass, who will be in charge for his fifth successive season, said it is unlikely any trials will be played.
"If I need a couple of players I'll put the word out there, but at this stage I don't think there will be a need for us to hold trials,'' he said.
Grass hopes to start training in early December. There'll be a break for Christmas and then he wants a solid eight week pre-season leading into the kickoff of the competition-proper in early March.
Grass said the majority of the 2021 roster will be back. The James sisters, Jess and Emma, will be notable gains. Jess was with the Middies two seasons ago and played in a competition in Sydney last season.
That's the cycle we go through. We identify talented young players and bring them through to senior grades, but unfortunately we lose a lot because they have to leave the area to go to uni or for workMick Grass
Originally from Tamworth, the sisters are now based in Port Macquarie.
Grass admits that 2021 was difficult. The Middies had one win and a draw from 15 starts and were only one point clear of last placed New Lambton when the season was curtailed due to the Newcastle lockdown.
However, Grass pointed out Mid Coast fielded one of the youngest teams in the league and they'll be hardened by that experience.
"That's the cycle we go through. We identify talented young players and bring them through to senior grades, but unfortunately we lose a lot because they have to leave the area to go to uni or for work,'' he said.
"So we start again... we always knew last season was going to be tough.''
Mid Coast also had a disrupted start to the season caused by constant wet weather.
"We virtually didn't have a pre-season. Most of the sessions we did have were on the beach. You can run around on the beach all you want, but it's not the same as training on a park,'' Grass said.
Mid Coast will play a trial against Adamstown in late January, probably at Taree, while Grass is hoping to organise a further game against Sydney University.
Injuries also played a part last year and this gave Grass the opportunity to give players from the younger divisions a chance in seniors. This included Tinonee's Jorja Holborrow, who was just 15. Grass confirmed that Holborrow is in his 2022 plans.
"If a player is good enough and has the required work ethic, then I'm prepared to give them the opportunity,'' Grass said.
He added that there will be a sprinkling of W-League players throughout the league, but none will be headed this far north. Mid Coast is the only club in the competition not based in the Newcastle area.
"We'd need money to attract those players and that's not going to happen,'' Grass explained.
In the past Mid Coast has attracted players from Coffs Harbour and Tamworth. However, this season Grass expects most will be from the Football Mid North Coast area.
"Roughly from Bulahdelah-ish to Kempsey... that's far enough but probably more manageable for training,'' he said.