Squad chemistry and continuity will be the backbone behind a fast-improving North Albany, according to new coach Luke Kimber ahead of his first Great Southern Football League Women’s season. The Kangas finished second last in 2023 but showed vast improvement as the season progressed and claimed a victory in the third last round as a reward for ever-growing effort. Kimber, who has spent time coaching in the Perth Football League at Scarborough Amateur Football Club, said his young squad was moving in the right direction. “We still have a really young side but we’ve got enough good players in there that I would expect the results to be a bit better than they were last year,” he said. “The girls have been really good and the players have surprised me and (are) better than I expected so I’ve been really happy with that and we’ve had good numbers. “In a six-team comp, if you win a few games, finals are always a possibility. “We don’t have any new players that have joined the club but the young girls are a year older and another year of development in the girls has helped. “Having familiarity with each other is really helpful on the field and building that culture around the club is really important for girls coming through. “It’s a real family feel and I can tell they’re going to be there for the long term.” Despite their young squad, the Kangas boast quality teenage talent eager to flex their muscles at Collingwood Park. “We have a couple of girls who have spent time at Claremont during the preseason so we are expecting big things from them,” Kimber said. “Mabel (Markey) went up there and had a really good time and I imagine they were impressed with her and she’s a very impressive player. “Pippa Wilson is a really impressive young player and they are both solid midfielders. “Mabel is probably more an outside midfielder and Pippa is more of a ‘win your own ball’ type and a bit of a bull. “They are both really good young players.” The Kangas began preseason earlier than usual in a bid to polish their craft under Kimber ahead of a highly anticipated season among the playing group. “They’re really excited about footy and I’m really excited about it,” he said. “We got down there, got into it and worked really hard. “It gave us time pre-Christmas to work really hard on our skills.” The Kangas will be hoping to open their account in the final game of the round one triple-header when they take on Denmark-Walpole at McLean Park on Saturday. Their first home game comes in round two against Royals on Friday, February 9. NORTH ALBANY 2023 finish: Fifth Captain: Kirstie Cooper Coach: Luke Kimber Key players: Mabel Markey and Pippa Wilson Prediction: Expect the Kangas to be GSFLW’s big improvers in 2023. The young list is a year older and with an extended preseason under a new coach, they will be no easy beats and will push for a finals berth.