Panthers to work on improvement
Rupanyup netball leaders are determined to provide strong and competitive representative teams as they busily plan for the approaching Horsham district season.
The Panthers were mid-field performers in A Grade last year, a position unlikely to sit well with the Dunmunkle outfit for too long.
Club netball director Olivia Huebner, while falling short of making any bold predictions, said the Panthers were working diligently on plans to improve performances across the board.
“Our challenge is to be able to match it with the competition’s leading teams. If we do that, it will hopefully translate to making the finals,” she said.
Highly respected Kayla Woods, last year’s A Grade best and fairest, has been at the Panthers’ A Grade helm in the past couple of seasons and will again play a pivotal role in shaping the club’s direction.
Ms Huebner said the Panthers had been busy working on establishing a leadership structure that would benefit Woods, other coaches, players and the club overall.
“Kayla has been an outstanding A Grade coach and we need to help her as much as possible to get the most out of everyone,” she said.
Team structures will begin to take shape when team leaders start seriously analysing player lists from this week.
“We’re pretty much going to be working on team structures from now on as we start planning out our season,” Ms Huebner said.
“We’re expecting young defender Kirah House to consolidate her position in A Grade after stepping up from the juniors, and looking to others such as Blair Bourke and Sadie Slorach to have a bit of impact.
“It’s very exciting and we’re looking forward to the season starting.”
Rupanyup netballers again have good player numbers throughout the various grades. The club boasted about 40 overall last year and while expecting numbers to back off slightly this season, will retain a solid selection list.
“Overall philosophy is that the netball club is keen to make an impact right across the competition,” Ms Huebner said.
“We’re looking forward to a good year and to improve significantly, not only in A Grade but at all levels.”
Panthers football and netball president Rod Weidemann stressed that netball played a critical role in overall club resilience and success.
“Our netballers are an integral part of the club, working hand-inhand with the footballers and we are pursuing success just as much on the court as we are on the footy field,” he said.
“It’s all about participation and giving kids an opportunity to play in our district.
“And it’s not only about kids, it’s about families – mums, dads, everyone being involved.”