MONARO Panthers women's Premier League coach Angelo Maralit says he has been encouraged by early player interest in the fledgling squad.
This year marks the first time the Panthers have fielded a women's Premier League outfit, and already there are positive signs the side is set for a competitive first season.
Maralit recently announced his first 50-player pre-season train-on squad for the upcoming season encompassing teams in first grade, reserve grade and the under-19s.
Those numbers will be further reduced before final Premier League and Federation Cup squads are announced in early February.
"I'm definitely happy with numbers, I probably didn't expect to have so many players to be honest," Maralit said.
"This is the first time in four years of coaching that I've ever actually had to cut players.
"Whereas before I've probably had to accept players to make up the numbers, now I'm able to shape the team that I want."
Maralit said there had been strong interest from a number of already established Premier League players and was hopeful of soon announcing the side's first marquee signing.
The Panthers will have their first competitive hit out on Sunday, February 10 against NSW Super League outfit the Gladesville Ravens in Sydney in preparation for the start of Monaro's Federation Cup campaign.
This year marks Maralit's first time in charge of a Premier League side having previously been in charge of Gungahlin United's reserve grade outfit.
And while he admits to having been beset by some early nerves, the 24-year-old said he had since settled in well to his new role.
"I was nervous to start with at the first trial in November and even the first training session this year but that's all gone away now," Maralit said.
"I've just got my head down, writing up session plans and getting the girls ready for the season."