Affiliated Leagues


Heathcote DFNL’s goalers to stretch Sunraysia defence

by Nathan Dole

THE height and accuracy of  Heathcote District Football Netball League goalers Ash Gilmore and Dayna McGough is likely to test Sunraysia’s defence in this Saturday’s round of the Worksafe AFL Community Championships.

It’s a long trek north for the HDFNL netball squad to take on Sunraysia at Mildura Recreation Reserve in Twelth Street.

A gun defender with White Hills, the reigning A-grade premier, Anna-Grace Close will mark her coaching debut at inter-league level.

“It’s an exciting challenge,” Close said.

“Being able to work with so many talented netballers on developing a game style and working on different combinations is a great test.

“The support from Jan Mannes (operations manager and HDFNL manager) and other league officials is fantastic.”

On-court, Heathcote DFNL is represented by netballers from five clubs.

A strong line-up includes White Hills clubmates Anna Grace Close and Bronte Deary in defence, Ash Gilmore in attack, Danni Wee Hee in the centre, and Rhian Moressi in goals or midcourt.

“Bronte Deary’s work as a goal defence, wing defence or goalkeeper is superb,” said Close.

“Ash Jenkyn from Huntly is likely to play at goal attack, and Isabel Nichol-Smith from Elmore is a talented mid-court player.

“There is a great mix of talented youngsters and more experienced players in the squad.

“Bronte Gundry from Leitchville Gunbower is a young mid-courter, and team-mate Emmalea Wishart can play defence or mid-court,” Close said.

It’s in the goal circle where Gilmore and North Bendigo’s Dayna McGough are likely to be the main targets.

“A great strength of this team is that a lot of us know one another’s game so well,” Close said.

“Quite a few of the girls have played a lot of netball together, or against each other.

“The height we have at both ends of the court and the attacking mindset of the mid-court players are what we can capitalise on against Sunraysia.”

The lead-up to the inter-league clash included Tuesday night’s training session on the court at Specialist Breeders Australia Oval at Huntly’s Strauch Reserve.

“Training sessions have focused on some different game plans, and also working on various combinations,” Close said of preparation for each third of the court.

The open netball match between Heathcote FNL and Sunraysia FNL starts at 1pm.


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