Building for a successful future
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.”