Teams ready to launch

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sports - BY SARAH SCULLY

Ready, or not – round one is upon us. Through­out the past cou­ple of months I have had an op­por­tu­nity to speak with A Grade coaches and-or net­ball di­rec­tors from all Horsham Dis­trict league clubs in the lead-up to the 2018 sea­son.

The Weekly Ad­ver­tiser’s HDFNL Net­ball Count­down se­ries pro­vides an in-depth look at how each club is shap­ing up, with a par­tic­u­lar em­pha­sis on A Grade.

On pa­per, we’ve looked at who’s in, who’s out, aims for the sea­son and so on – and now it’s fi­nally time to see it on the court.

Horsham Dis­trict league has been hotly con­tested at the top end of the lad­der for the past few years and this sea­son will be no dif­fer­ent.

Reign­ing premier Na­timuk United will again be one to watch. The Ewes have re­tained their core A Grade group for sev­eral sea­sons and their knowl­edge of how each other plays com­bined with their ex­pe­ri­enced heads makes them hard to beat.

Na­timuk United will host No­rad­juha-quan­tong first up and spec­ta­tors will en­joy a com­pet­i­tive en­counter from the peren­nial fi­nals con­tenders. The Bombers have made sev­eral changes through­out the mid­court and in goals and will take a while to gel, but are al­ready show­ing plenty of prom­ise. There will be sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­est in how a new-look Har­row­bal­moral out­fit shapes up. The South­ern Roos have lost four key play­ers from last year’s grand fi­nal team – in­clud­ing dec­o­rated leader Ebonie Sal­ter – but in­com­ing play­ing coach Amy Lewis is con­fi­dent oth­ers will jump at an op­por­tu­nity to fill their shoes.

One thing is for sure, you can never dis­count the Roos. The club is a long-time pow­er­house of the com­pe­ti­tion that oc­ca­sion­ally needs to re-jig, rather than re­build.

Har­row-bal­moral will host Pimpinio, which will also field a new-look team this year un­der re­turn­ing coach Marnie Lehmann.

Much has been writ­ten about La­harum’s new ‘dis­ci­pline’ fo­cus for 2018 and spec­ta­tors will get their first glimpse of the De­mons in ac­tion against Kal­kee. Co-coach Re­becca Mcin­tyre is look­ing for an­other strong year from her charges and the side will take no pris­on­ers on its way to stak­ing claim on a fi­nals berth – although a young Kal­kee out­fit will not give up with­out a fight.

In other matches, Tay­lors Lake will host Jeparit-rain­bow, Eden­hope-ap­s­ley will wel­come Ru­pa­nyup and Swifts have a bye.

Here’s to an­other ex­cit­ing and com­pet­i­tive sea­son.

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