Mccul­loch build­ing for fu­ture

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Netball Countdown - BY SARAH SCULLY

Tay­lors Lake net­ball lead­ers have used an A Grade hia­tus in 2016 to en­sure the club’s longevity in Hor­sham District Foot­ball Net­ball League.

Net­ball direc­tor Au­drey De­lahunty said the league’s de­ci­sion to al­low the club to play with­out an A Grade team for a year had en­abled it to re­fo­cus and plan for the fu­ture.

The club re­quested to be omit­ted from the A Grade com­pe­ti­tion last year be­cause of a lack of play­ers and depth.

De­lahunty said the sea­son’s break was long enough for the club to be more com­pet­i­tive in 2017.

“We spent a lot of time last year build­ing up the play­ers we’ve got and pre­par­ing for this year,” she said. “We worked on at­tract­ing play­ers and ap­point­ing coaches.

“Ap­point­ing our coaches has been a mas­sive gain. They are all re­ally ded­i­cated and keen to de­velop play­ers for the fu­ture.”

De­lahunty said Gab Mccul­loch’s ap­point­ment as A Grade coach for 2017 was a win for the club.

“Gab played B Grade last year and we men­tioned coach­ing A Grade to her a few times, hop­ing she would be in­ter­ested,” she said.

“We’re re­ally happy she took on the role. She is look­ing long-term and try­ing to im­prove the play­ers we have and build us up for the fu­ture.”

Mccul­loch said she agreed to take on the A Grade role af­ter ‘of­fi­cially’ re­tir­ing.

“I have three boys who are young enough to be at the club for an­other 10 years or so,” she said.

“I was wor­ried we didn’t have a vi­sion for the fu­ture.

“I want to work with the ju­nior coaches to de­velop a cul­ture that is a nice en­vi­ron­ment for those kids to move up into.

“That’s why I ac­cepted the role – I want to help build up the club.”

Mccul­loch said the Lak­ers would have a strong fo­cus on ju­nior devel­op­ment this year.

“We’re look­ing to the fu­ture and try­ing to con­sol­i­date the ju­niors who won the 13 and un­der grand fi­nal two years ago to cre­ate a fu­ture A Grade,” she said.

“It’s not go­ing to hap­pen overnight. We are in the re­build­ing stage. We’re not judg­ing suc­cess by win­ning. We’re fo­cus­ing on teach­ing sports­man­ship, team work and learn­ing skills. Hope­fully the young girls can all stay to­gether. They’re top-age 15 and un­ders this year. Hope­fully we’re look­ing at fi­nals suc­cess again with these girls.”

Mccul­loch said the club’s young tal­ent was also key to fu­ture se­nior suc­cess.

“If we can part­ner those young girls with some of our more ma­ture girls it will be a good mix of youth and ex­pe­ri­ence,” she said.

“It is a mat­ter of keep­ing those girls to­gether.”

Mccul­loch said there was a pos­i­tive feel­ing at the club.

“We’ve started pre-sea­son train­ing and we’ve had good num­bers,” she said.

De­lahunty said the club had not lost any play­ers from last sea­son and had wel­comed sev­eral new faces.

“We’re not sure which grades they’ll all play yet be­cause we haven’t picked teams and we don’t want to as­sume,” she said.

She said one player set to line up in A Grade was ex­pe­ri­enced mid­courter Nat Lienert.

“Nat’s from the Mil­dura league and has played A Grade for about 15 years,” she said.

“She came out for a look last year and is keen to play this year. She’ll play A Grade and she’ll also be coach­ing B Grade.

“Kate How­den is likely to re­turn to the club to play A Grade this year.

“She’s a mid­courter but she also plays de­fence. She’s pretty ver­sa­tile.”

De­lahunty said pre-sea­son was well un­der­way, with play­ers fo­cus­ing on fitness un­der the guid­ance of Katie Robin­son.

Team se­lec­tions start this week.

STEP­PING UP: Sev­eral of Tay­lors Lake’s 2016 B Grade play­ers, pic­tured dur­ing Hor­sham District league’s In­dige­nous round last year, will move up into A Grade for the 2017 sea­son.

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