Harvey leads new-look side
Kalkee will field a newlook A Grade team under a new coach as it attempts to move its way up the Horsham District league pecking order in 2017.
Bek Harvey has joined the club from Wimmera league outfit Horsham Saints and is keen to jump into her first major senior coaching role.
“I’ve been an assistant coach before and coached juniors at my previous club King Lake, but this is my first proper senior coaching role,” she said.
“I feel like I’ve been thrown into the deep end a bit but it’s going well.
“I decided to do it for something different. As a player I get frustrated sometimes and I thought coaching was a way I could help out and also give something back to a club.”
Kalkee has selected teams for the season.
Netball director Melissa Beddison said there was a significant amount of player movement in the off-season.
Sisters Aily and Jordie Mcauliffe have left the club and will play for Laharum this year.
“Tara Jasper will have a go at Wimmera league this season, so she will be a big loss for us,” Beddison said.
“Hayley Thomas and Lauren Hotker won’t be returning and we still have a couple of players who are yet to confirm what they’re doing this season.”
Beddison said despite the losses, Kalkee had attracted several newcomers.
“We’ve had about 13 new girls at the club during preseason,” she said.
“These include Tamara and Anna Exell from Dimboola, who will be part of our A Grade line-up.”
Anna will bolster the team’s defensive capabilities alongside Harvey, while Tamara will fill voids in the goal ring and the midcourt.
Former Horsham netballer Jaymi O’connor has also joined the club and will play at both ends of the court.
Midcourter Emily Hannan has stepped up for her first year of senior netball, while Ella Motton and Britt Baker have been named as junior development players.
Beddison said she expected the changing line-up to allow other players to step up.
“I think Coco Ledgar will really shine this season – she can play any position on the court equally as well,” she said.
“I think Millie Mcrae will also have another great year.”
Kalkee finished eighth in 2016.
While Beddison would like to see a rise up the ladder, she is aware rebuilding takes time.
“We’ll have a completely new group this season, so the main priority initially is getting everyone on the same wavelength and gelling together nicely,” she said. “Our goal is to have fun this season. We have a great bunch of girls, on and off the court.
“We also want our younger girls to gain more experience playing and in other roles.
“We would like to think we could improve on our final ladder positions from last season in all grades. We’re also kicking off the season in brand new dresses, so I can’t wait to see them in action.”
Beddison said she was pleased to welcome Harvey to the club and looked forward to seeing the senior group flourish under her leadership.
“There are a few girls in the group who have coaching experience who will be a great help to Bek leading the team, especially when it comes to directing the younger girls,” she said.
Montana Ledgar has taken on an assistant coaching role.
Harvey said pre-season camaraderie indicated positive signs for the club.
“We’ve had a good number of girls turning up at training. Everyone’s been really enthusiastic and things are looking promising,” she said.
“We’re a new side so this year is about getting to know each other and learning to play together. It’s about having fun. There is no pressure for the girls. I’m really looking forward to it. I’m excited for a fresh start.”
Kalkee will play intra-club matches on Friday before kicking off its 2017 Horsham District league campaign against reigning premier Harrow-balmoral at Harrow on April 8
NEW COACH: Bek Harvey has joined Kalkee from Wimmera league outfit Horsham Saints. Picture: SARAH SCULLY