Alpine Observer

New era for senior Savoy women

- BY JUSTIN JENVEY jjenvey@ nemedia.com.au

FOR Myrtleford’s senior women 2016 was a season that at times showed plenty of promise but again ended in a quarter-final exit at the hands of Boomers.

Injury to key players again stopped the team from realising its full potential.

The Savoy women will enter the new AWFA season with plenty of unknowns.

They have a new coach in Geoff Stevenson but have lost a number of key cogs from last year’s side.

Most notable is the departure of Steph Harris who was the Savoys’ best attacking option in recent seasons, last year the striker tallied 14 of the team’s 37 goals.

Fellow forward Claire Greene is gone after again being struck down with injury midway through 2016 while Fran Serlano also departs.

However, the trump card that could help the Savoys overcome those losses is the return of Christina Mancuso.

If the former star player can get back on the pitch and partner up with Katherine Sylwestrza­k in midfield it will greatly change the team’s dynamic.

Assistant coach Karly Gigliotti said fingers were crossed for Mancuso’s return.

“I know Christina is hoping to be back in the next few weeks but we’ll wait and see,” she said.

“She is keeping fit so she is ready to go and will fill a major hole in our midfield.

“We will basically have to re-work our whole forward line with the players we have lost but we have a few new girls, while we also have Kayla Kneebone for the whole year.

“She is fast and will give us some pace up front.”

Gigliotti said Myrtleford’s success will hinge on their defence and they should again be one of the better defensive units in the competitio­n.

While Gigliotti has called time on her playing days after requiring a second knee reconstruc­tion it’s expected that goalkeeper Jacinta Findlay and the team’s new defensive pairing will bring the same intensity as in recent years.

“Emma Buckingham is a quality centre back and she should form a good combinatio­n with Kayla Hawkins who is back playing,” Gigliotti said.

“That’s the area of the field we look strongest.

“We’re hoping to finish in the top eight again although we’re not expecting anything major.

“We’re a developing team still but something similar to last year will be good.”

 ?? PHOTO: Brad Worrall ?? DRILL TIME: Jacinta Findlay, Katherine Sylwestrza­k and Annie Rowney will be looking to get past the Cup quarter-finals this year.
PHOTO: Brad Worrall DRILL TIME: Jacinta Findlay, Katherine Sylwestrza­k and Annie Rowney will be looking to get past the Cup quarter-finals this year.
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