ONLY WAY IS UP: South Warrnambool netballer Melody Keath is predicting blue skies ahead for the Roosters after a tough 2016 season. Picture: Amy Paton
THERE is a silver lining for every tough season a club has to endure, and South Warrnambool’s open grade netballers have found theirs.
The Roosters went winless through 2016 but, as new coach Mandy Van Rooy points out, their reliance on youth last year has fast-tracked their development.
“Our goal, at the moment, is just to keepgoing from last year,” she said.
“It was a tough year, but we’ve also blooded a lot of young girls who wouldn’t have gotthe opportunity otherwise.
“They’ve got a year of seniors under their belt, they’re a lot more mature and they know what they have to do to handle the open grade.”
Van Rooy, who coached Panmure to a Warrnambool and District league semi-final appearance last year, has injected mature-aged players into the playing group.
Goaler Eliza Dwyer returns to South Warrnambool after a few years in the Central Highlands league, where she won the league A grade best and fairestand a premiership with Skipton in a memorable 2016 season.
Versatile midcourter Liz Byrne has joined the club after stints with Port Fairy and Allansford.
With the majority of last year’s open grade team staying around, Van Rooy said the inclusions had meant some shifting with the playing group.
“(There’s been) a little bit more shuffling around, which is a good thing,” shesaid.
“It means potentially a few more players play division one, which makes our division one team a bit stronger.
“We’re working on just being mature and getting the little things right; just having the confidence in each other.”
Eliza Dwyer (CHFNL; returning), Liz Byrne (Port Fairy)
2016 best and fairest
1st: Annie O’Brien (equal) 1st: Ally O’Connor (equal) 3rd: Aylish Tobin-Salzman
Player to watch
ELIZA DWYER: The former South Warrnambool junior returns to the Friendly Societies’ Park club after a stint in the Central Highlands Football Netball League, where she won the league A grade best and fairest award last season. Described as an “amazing” goaler by her new coach, she will be a potent force in the Roosters’ attack.
Susie Giese says: The Roosters were a young group finding their feet last season and showed some good general improvement. But with a full season under their belts and some mature-age recruits coming into the group, along with new coach Mandy Van Rooy, the Roosters will be eyeing off a surge up the ladder after a winless 2016.
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