A potent force
Is there anything worse than finishing runner-up in a Wimmera Netball Association A Grade grand final?
Yep, coming second again the following year.
This is why Minyip-murtoa must create its own luck during this year’s finals series.
History shows the Burras fell short of toppling Horsham in the season climax last year and that so far this year, they are again the primary challengers to Horsham’s domination.
If the Burras get to the grand final, which is a tough assignment this year, they are going to have put to bed any ‘demons’ that might still be loitering in the back of the mind and play their own game.
This year, Minyip-murtoa has tapped into an enviable versatility and through the guidance of coach, mentor and former elite-level player Claire Drum has galvanised into a potent force. Word is, and season form backs it up, the Burras are serious about getting to the grand final and winning the series.
The Burras versatility manifests itself in the ability of players to swap bibs from week to week or at the changes and play in multiple roles.
This explores the idea of creating oncourt miss-matches and keeps opposition benches guessing.
There is no room for complacency when playing Minyip-murtoa. When we talk about the Burras, the first player who comes to mind is Kirby Knight, who is a spearhead under the post.
Knight is an example of consistency in shooting and is a coach’s dream. If she’s on the court, she will get the ball and shoot goals – as simple as that.
She is also teaming nicely with Jessica Elder, establishing a working rapport based on a shared workload and helping to bring out the best in up-and-coming youngster Maddison Morgan.
At the midcourt coalface and also pushing back in defence to win 50-50 contests is 2016 Hatcher Medallist Stevie Bibby.
Bibby is one of the examples of the Burras’ versatile individuals and is working strongly with solid defensive duo Stefanie Cooper and Paula Wiedermann and superfit wing defence Lateesha Gascoyne.
Of course there are also plenty of options in the middle through the likes of Laura Delahunty, Billie Bibby and Ashley Knight.
There is a lot to like about what’s happening at the Burras. On paper they match up well against all other teams in the top five and in the finals it will be about getting the formula right on the day.
Memories of what happened last year, coupled with knowledge established this season that the side can beat Horsham, are sure to act as a major spur for this exciting team.