Keen steers Mag­pies to glory

Benalla Ensign - - Motorsport Motorsport - By Geor­gia Smith

There are not many peo­ple who can say they have racked up 10 pre­mier­ship ti­tles in their life­time.

How­ever, that is the case for Be­nalla’s Kel­lie Keen.

The ta­lented Goul­burn Val­ley league net­ball ex­port reached the mile­stone when her Wan­garatta Mag­pies took down the Al­bury Tigers to claim the Ovens and Mur­ray league A-grade flag this year.

Not only was it Keen’s first pre­mier­ship as an A-grade coach, but also the first flag the Mag­pies have won in the league’s his­tory — 22 years since mak­ing their first grand fi­nal ap­pear­ance.

‘‘It was very ex­cit­ing, not only for my­self coach­ing in an A-grade pre­mier­ship, but also for the club,’’ Keen said.

De­spite ap­pear­ing to have the magic touch, Keen said there was no real se­cret to her suc­cess, rather hard work and the cul­mi­na­tion of a good team foun­da­tion.

‘‘I don’t think there’s a se­cret, it’s just about the play­ers work­ing to­gether as a team and com­bin­ing on the day,’’ she said.

‘‘The most im­por­tant thing is to work to­gether as a team and not just as in­di­vid­ual play­ers and suc­cess will come.

‘‘I’ve been for­tu­nate to be in some great teams over the years.’’

Keen played 400 A-grade net­ball games for the Be­nalla Saints, win­ning seven flags be­fore the op­por­tu­nity to coach an A-grade side arose.

Since then, the play­ing coach has reached 80 games for the Wan­garatta Mag­pies and Rovers com­bined, leav­ing her with a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence out on the court in Goul­burn Val­ley and Ovens and Mur­ray leagues.

Keen thanked the peo­ple of Be­nalla for sup­port­ing her and the Mag­pies in their grand fi­nal vic­tory.

‘‘It was re­ally great for me to have that sup­port,’’ she said.

Keen will now de­cide what comes next in her al­ready vastly suc­cess­ful net­ball ca­reer.

Be­nalla

Wed­nes­day, Septem­ber 26, Jack­pot Triples: There were 26 teams that played in the reg­u­lar Jack­pot Triples Tour­na­ment. Win­ners: J. Stevens, G. Less­ing and E. Tomkins with 13 shots up. Run­ner up: I. Brond, R. Wal­lace and J. Har­ris In­door Bowls, Mon­day, Septem­ber 24: Three games of eight ends were played. Win­ners: R. Ed­wards, V. King, C. Levy and J. Holmes with a plus nine Run­ner up: D. McIntyre, L. Brown, D. Gul­bin and Jack Lemin.

Se­nior cit­i­zens

Tues­day, Septem­ber 25: Win­ners: R.Charl­wood, P.Edgar, H.Harper, R.Harper. Run­ner up: G.Sharp, J.Holmes, T.Pep­per. Fri­day, Septem­ber 28: Win­ners: M.Ryan, Joan Lemin, S.Lem­mer. Run­ner up: R.Elkan, J.Quick, Jack Lemin. Satur­day, Septem­ber 29: Win­ners: L.Scholz, M.Price, E.Hay­don. Run­ner up: J.Quick, N.Elkan, H.Ray.

Thrilled: For­mer Be­nalla Saints net­baller Kel­lie Keen has won her first pre­mier­ship as an A-grade coach with Wan­garatta Mag­pies.

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