VU WRFL NETBALL BEGINS ON FRIDAY
The second season of the Victoria University WRFL Netball competition will be bigger than ever, with 19 teams competing across two divisions in 2019.
After a successful inaugural season, the number teams involved has almost doubled, with new clubs from across the west entering the exciting competition.
Point Cook Centrals, Manor Lakes and North Sunshine enter the competition, with founding clubs also increasing their involvement.
Senior Operations Manager Adam Sparrow said the rapid growth of the WRFL’s netball competition was exciting.
“WRFL clubs have embraced the Victoria University Netball competition,” he said.
“The success of the program to date would not have been possible without the commitment of all clubs involved. We congratulate them for being leaders in the netball space.”
Point Cook Centrals’ Louise McCullam said there was great interest from her club community to join the netball competition.
“We took time last year to start thinking about it (joining the competition) and we set some goals and there was some really good interest about playing,” she said.
“Everyone can’t wait to get on board this season. We are all pretty excited.”
Kristy Wilson from Manor Lakes shares the same sentiment, saying the Storm are ready for the season to start.
“We are a bunch of girls who love netball, we have thrown ourselves into the deep end, but we just want to have fun and have a crack,” she said.
Wilson said she was one of the key figures to introduce Senior Women’s Football to the club more than five years ago. She says forming a netball side to add to the club’s sporting offerings for women was important.
“Our focus was women’s footy last season, but when this year came around, we had a lot of interest about netball, so we decided to put a side in,” she said.
“We have had a couple of practice matches so far, so the girls are keen to get on the netball court and play.”
Reigning premiers Point Cook have expanded their netball program and in 2019 will feature three teams.
Point Cook defeated Braybrook in last season’s grand decider. Coach Nicole Case says back-to-back premierships is the goal, but admits the competition will be harder this year.
New Braybrook coach Jon Patten hopes he can close the gap between them and Point Cook.
“This is my first season as a head coach of any sporting club, so it is going to be a learning curve for me,” he said.
“I am looking to see what I can bring and what the players can achieve under me.
“Over the pre-season, we have tried to source the players that will help us compete against that Point Cook side. They have that towering shooter so hopefully we have someone just as big that can shut her down, but I think all the work is going to have to come from the mid-court.
“Hopefully we can come away with the whole thing, that is definitely our goal.”
Another new coach on board in 2019 is Claire Slattery, who has taken the reins at Spotswood.
“I am from the west, I was born and bred here, and I can’t play anymore and I love Spotswood as a club and I really wanted to be a part of it, I am really excited,” she said.
Claire said the team began pre-season early and will be setting goals and expectations with the group before the season commences.
For Sunshine’s Jo Smart, she is looking forward to building on the momentum of last season and pushing for a finals berth.
“Season one was good, I think we struggled a little bit because we had a few injuries and girls coming and going, but as the season progressed, we got better and started to gel,” she said.
“Our goal for this season was to make finals, last year we missed out so hopefully this year we can make finals and keep the momentum going.”
Round 1 of the Victoria University WRFL Netball Competition begins on Friday night.