New Cats coach

Southern Riverina news - - SPORT -

Three-time club best and fairest win­ner Chelsea Mc­Don­ald will coach the Finley A grade net­ball side in this year’s Mur­ray Net­ball League sea­son.

Mc­Don­ald has been a star shooter for the Cats over the past few years, be­ing a joint win­ner of the Mur­ray League Most Valu­able Player Award last sea­son.

The 20 year-old said she’s look­ing for­ward to the her new role.

‘‘I just want a com­pet­i­tive sea­son from the girls,’’ Mc­Don­ald said.

‘‘It’s im­por­tant we all train hard to get suc­cess, and once we have suc­cess it can make it a fun sea­son.

‘‘In the past I’ve coached the ju­nior teams and as­sisted at se­nior level when I could.’’

The A grade Cats just missed out on a fi­nals spot last year fin­ish­ing sev­enth, how­ever the lower grades and ju­nior teams man­aged to reach fi­nals which in­cluded a premier­ship from C re­serve and grand fi­nal ap­pear­ances by the club’s B and C grade sides.

Mc­Don­ald said the Cats have plenty of depth and she is con­fi­dent the se­nior grades will be able to ‘‘blood’’ younger play­ers.

‘‘I think Finley’s net­ball has a promis­ing fu­ture,’’ she said.

‘‘There are plenty of ex­cep­tional younger play­ers that I have no doubt will help lead us to pre­mier­ships in years to come.’’

Mc­Don­ald won three A grade best and fairests in a row, the first at just 16 years of age, and has rep­re­sented Finley at Mur­ray League level since she was 13.

Finley Net­ball pres­i­dent Sasha Wood said the club is pleased to have Mc­Don­ald as coach.

‘‘Chelsea is very pop­u­lar among our play­ers,’’ she said.

‘‘De­spite her young age, the com­mit­tee and my­self are con­fi­dent she will lead the club both on and off the court.

‘‘Her ex­pe­ri­ence at rep­re­sen­ta­tive level will help guide her in this role.’’

Finley’s pre-sea­son train­ing be­gan at the start of this month. Mc­Don­ald’s first of­fi­cial hit-out as coach is against the Deni Rams in the open­ing Mur­ray League round at 4.30pm on Good Fri­day.

Chelsea Mc­Don­ald with Finley’s se­nior footy cap­tain Lachy Small.

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