Pan­thers to work on im­prove­ment

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Netball Countdown - BY DEAN LAW­SON

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.”

Sadie Slo­rach

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