Ahead of his first season at the helm, new Railways coach Leighton Smith insists his side has a firm eye on the ultimate goal despite a changing list. The Tigers suffered an agonising loss in last year’s semifinal on their home deck and are eager to ensure they do not endure the same fate in the 2024 Great Southern Football League Women’s competition. Their hopes of rekindling their premiership-winning 2022 season have been dealt a severe blow with reigning GSFLW fairest and best winner Laura Cinanni no longer at Tigerland. The star midfielder has relocated to Perth and will be playing in a new set of Tigers colours at Claremont. They will, however, be bolstered by the returning Kathryn Slattery who was sidelined for the entire 2023 season with a nasty knee injury. The Tigers will be banking on a return to 2022 form that had Slattery finish second in the GSFLW best and fairest count. Tigers mainstay Tiarna Delli-Benedetti will lead the team onto the field again as captain for the upcoming season. “That’s the goal (to play in a premiership), we play to play finals, especially a big grand final,” Smith said. “We have a very new team this year compared to last year. We’ve had a fair bit of change there. “Trying to replace someone that is coming off a best and fairest year is always going to be difficult but we have some new players that I think will go alright. “It will always be hard to replace someone of that quality. “Having Kathryn Slattery back will be really helpful for the girls. “Tiarna will be captain again and she’s a superstar, she’s a great player and a great leader at the club. “Maggie Smith is a young player who has come a long way and is looking really good along with Ksharna Coyne who is a really good footballer, and Chelsea Geddes.” Smith has previously coached juniors but will undertake his first senior coaching role at Tigerland. “We are getting a lot of numbers down now which is nice and the girls are looking really good and involved,” he said. “I couldn’t be happier with how we’ve been training. “We’re really switched on and involved. “I’m really enjoying it and I have a really good group around me.” The Tigers face Mt Barker in the opening clash of the round one triple-header on February 3 and have their first home game against Denmark-Walpole in round three. RAILWAYS 2023 finish: Third Captain: Tiarna Delli-Benedetti Coach: Leighton Smith Key players: Ksharna Coyne, Chelsea Geddes, Kathryn Slattery and Maggie Smith Prediction: Losing a league fairest and best is always hard to replace. However the Tigers hunger for a premiership, fuelled by their disappointment of last year’s preliminary final, remains. Newly appointed coach Leighton Smith brings breath of fresh air to Tigerland and likely more April action.