Accuracy the key
When it comes to winning finals, it often simply boils down to getting the ball through the hoop as many times as possible. If this sounds obvious, it is. But in the case of Warrack Eagles, shooting enough goals to topple quality opponents has been an achilles heel and something it must address in the finals. It is a challenge the Eagles have toiled over for much of the season, amplified by the loss of joint coach and goal attack Sarah Spicer in the third round of the season.
But the perceived weakness might actually evolve into a strength during the intense atmosphere generated in finals action.
Goals generally become harder to come by during finals and this is where the Eagles might have an opportunity to swoop.
In trying to fill the absence of Spicer, the Eagles have had to be creative in team set-up, structure and selection. This has generated a significant need for players to share a variety of responsibilities.
Experienced campaigner Megan Werner has slipped back into a shooting role this season and Briodi Mckenzie, elevated from B Grade ranks, has settled in beside her.
Mckenzie, who has great netball awareness and smarts, might be the critical connection in attack and a barometer in how far the Eagles progress in the finals.
Of course what anyone following Wimmera netball knows, is the Eagles, while perhaps having a few issues up front, have a sensational defence.
The name Penny Fisher is synonymous with sheer netball talent in the region and she is the linchpin and general in the Eagles’ defensive half.
She stands in the way of opposition teams in the finals, but also has plenty of support from Jess Kelly, Jenny Schulz and odd-jobs specialist Zandria Malone.
The Eagles also have a good book-end player, at home in attack or defence, in Britenie Power.
Working off this dominance out of defence is a running midcourt outfit led by Emma Koschitzke and Petah Winsall.
Third place at the end of the home-andaway season is an honest reflection of the season the Eagles have experienced.
They have the potential to go deeply into the finals, having beaten premiership aspirant Minyip-murtoa and have the added bonus of a finals double chance, which presents an opportunity to change up their structures. They can also regroup if they have a hiccup.
The Eagles have won several games where the result could have gone either way, suggesting there is plenty of fight and character in the ranks.