WAVERLEY Falcons will have a new voice and, they hope, a new focus heading into the Big V basketball league state championship men's season.
The Falcons men will be coached by Andrew Sherwell, who crosses from Diamond Valley Eagles to lead the side.
Sherwell, who is also an assistant coach with WNBL champions Dandenong Rangers, has brought along two promising talents in former Eagles Matt Bongetti and Chris Arkell.
Those two look likely to replace outgoing pair Daniel Dillon and Bennie Lewis, who are not expected to return to the Falcons this season. Forward Kevin Benn has left to join division 1 club Keysborough.
After the Falcons had won the previous two titles, 2012 turned into a disappointing season as the Falcons were unable to sustain their relentless defence against challenges from eventual champions Ringwood Hawks and other leading Big V clubs.
Championship coach Eric Minerve stepped down from men's coaching role mid-season to instead focus on developing young Falcons players in the club's youth league side.
Minerve will remain in that role for 2013.
Sherwell said he looked forward to taking charge of the side, which he still believes has the drive to again challenge for the championship.
"It's a talented group and has had success for a couple of years. As long we can find that balance on defence and get that passion back to play for each other then we will be in the mix."
Sherwell is keen to lift the Falcons' defence back to the levels it reached during the championship seasons.
"We certainly want to bring the defence back to Waverley," he said.
"We have got plenty of scorers in the group and have a well-balanced team. Now it's about getting the side to gel, then if we play some 'D' then we will have some success."
With the Rangers deep in the hunt for a second straight WNBL title, Sherwell will be splitting his time between Rangers' training and Falcons' preseason with training scheduled at different times so he can attend both.
The Falcons will resume preseason training later this month and will also play in the Big V tournament in Frankston in the lead-up to the new season.
Elias Palioyiannis will again coach the Falcons' state championship women's team while Steph Groom will continue as women's youth league coach.