Build­ing for a suc­cess­ful fu­ture

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Netball Countdown - BY SARAH SCULLY

De­spite the dis­ap­point­ment of not mak­ing fi­nals in 2017, Nhill net­ball lead­ers are pleased the club has made sig­nif­i­cant in­roads into a stronger, more suc­cess­ful fu­ture.

In­com­ing A Grade play­ing coach Emma Beer said net­ball lead­ers took plenty of pos­i­tives from last sea­son, even though teams hoped to fin­ish higher on their re­spec­tive lad­ders.

“We were dis­ap­pointed not to make fi­nals in A Grade last year,” she said.

“We felt we were in a re­ally pos­i­tive po­si­tion at the start of the sea­son but we were un­lucky with some key in­juries.

“Over­all, we had a big im­prove­ment and were a much more com­pet­i­tive side – we were ac­tu­ally com­pet­i­tive against ev­ery side, which is a big dif­fer­ence from pre­vi­ous years.”

Beer said im­prove­ments across the whole club had led to a good feel­ing among play­ers and sup­port­ers.

“It’s al­ways been a fun club, but now we have more struc­ture,” she said.

“We’re also work­ing on our cul­ture and mak­ing sure we have the right peo­ple in the right po­si­tions.

“We’ve laid a lot of pos­i­tive foun­da­tions for the fu­ture.”

Pre-sea­son is well un­der­way and Beer is happy with how it is pro­gress­ing.

“We’ve had re­ally good num­bers on the train­ing track and a lot of en­thu­si­asm,”

she said. “Fit­ness is a big fo­cus, as it al­ways is in pre-sea­son. We’ve felt in pre­vi­ous years we didn’t get into net­ball specifics early enough, so this year we’re in­cor­po­rat­ing ball skills and drills as well.

“We’re in the mid­dle of se­lec­tions, which we’re also start­ing a bit ear­lier this year.

“That will al­low us to start our team bond­ing and be­com­ing fa­mil­iar with each other on the court sooner than in pre­vi­ous years.”

The Tigers will field all teams bar 15 and un­der B in 2018.

The A Grade out­fit will be without Ellen Ben­nett, in­jury, and Ash­leigh Mor­ri­son, who will play for Jeparit-rain­bow in Hor­sham District league this year.

“Ellen was our cap­tain last year and she in­jured her knee early in the sea­son,” Beer said.

“She had surgery later in the year and will also miss this sea­son. She is a big loss.”

Beer said the Tigers had at­tracted a few new faces, which would boost the club’s se­nior net­ball ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

“We will have some new faces in the A Grade team but the girls who played A Grade last year are also in the mix,” she said.

“We’re still in the mid­dle of the se­lec­tion process so the team isn’t fi­nalised yet, but I think we will have a stronger, more ver­sa­tile line-up with bet­ter depth.”

Beer said the club’s ju­nior net­ballers would also fo­cus on be­ing com­pet­i­tive and gain­ing new skills.

She said sev­eral un­der-17 play­ers would be given op­por­tu­ni­ties to gain ex­pe­ri­ence in se­nior grades.

“I’m con­fi­dent as a club we’ll go bet­ter this sea­son and we’re ex­pect­ing the girls to rise to the oc­ca­sion,” she said.

“We’re re­ally ex­cited about this year and look­ing for­ward to the sea­son start­ing.”

Beer said she also looked for­ward to play­ing against league new­comer South­ern Mallee Gi­ants.

“I don’t know much about them but it’s al­ways good to have an ex­tra team come in to strengthen the com­pe­ti­tion,” she said.

“I think it’s a pos­i­tive step for­ward for the league.”

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