LVFNL Round 1 Netball Preview


Eagles bring dare to court against Demons

THE Maiden Gully YCW Eagles aim to bring plenty of dare to the netball court for Saturday’s start to the Bendigo Bank Loddon Valley FNL season.

A quest for an A-grade premiership hat-trick starts on the Eagles court at Marist College in Maiden Gully against Calivil United.

It’s a vastly-different Eagles team to the one which Adam Boldiston coached to premiership glory last September.

Defenders Rachael Gray and Jayne Norton will play crucial roles as they team up to be joint captains of a young Maiden Gully YCW team.

A new-look attack for the Eagles is likely to include Emily Barbour and Liv Hall, and then there’s Paige Barry in mid-court aiming to set up plenty of moves into the goaling circle.

Calivil United has a new coach in Haylee Fawcett to guide one of the competition’s youngest teams.

The Demons have the experience of Michelle Balic to team with Akeily Pearce in defence.

Among the newcomers for the red and blue is Adele Barber from Strathfieldsaye Storm.

Maddy McGowan is likely to start in attack.

Preliminary finalists in ’23, Marong and Mitiamo start their campaigns at Marong’s Malone Park.

Both teams are expected to feature prominently in the race for this year’s flag.

Been plenty of off and on-court changes at Marong.

Robyn Cunnington has moved into the A-grade coaching role after Sue Borserio chose to take a break.

Recruits for the Panthers include Charli Crawford back from Golden Square, goaler Ali Boyd, and Ashleigh Cole.

It’s a big day for Marong on what is Annette Grant Memorial Round to raise funds for Pancreatic Cancer research.

Beaten in the past two grand finals by Maiden Gully YCW, Mitiamo has plenty of motivation to regain its place as the Valley’s top team.

A strong squad that includes goaler Laura Hicks, defenders Caitlyn Hocking and Abbey Battersby, is strengthened by the return of Sarah Ludeman and Kelly Pay.

The Jen Wilson-coached Superoos also have Carly Scholes in attack to test Marong all match.

Bridgewater hosts Newbridge in the battle of the bridges.

After coaching the 17-and-under team to the premiership last season, Caz Wood and Olivia Collicaot step up to coach Bridgewater’s A-grade squad.

Arguably the recruit of the season is defender Carly Van Den Heuvel, a triple premiership player at Sandhurst who has joined the Mean Machine after a stint at Kangaroo Flat.

Demi Broadbent will also be back on court after a couple of seasons not playing.

After reaching last year’s elimination final, Newbridge will be determined to climb a few rungs on the ladder.

It’s a new coaching set-up for the Maroons as Selina Holland and Kristy Gandy take charge.

Newbridge’s recruits include Rachel Pettifer back from Golden Square, and Mount Pleasant centre Hayley Martiniello.

The return of Meg Jennings is a huge plus for the Maroons.

Key players for Newbridge include Kym Childs, Jorja Hufer and Sarah Lovell.

Bears Lagoon-Serpentine is home at Gadsden Finance Serpentine Reserve to take on Pyramid Hill.

After crossing from Marong, Danielle O’Toole will mark her first match as the Bears coach.

The BLS squad includes Hannah Ilsley from Calivil United, Lara Clements on the return from a knee injury, and the talented Marley Addlem who was the league’s fairest and best in last season’s 17-and-under competition.

Other players keen to drive the Bears rise up the ladder are Ellen Gladman and Ellyssa Hartland.

Pyramid Hill looks to be a stronger team than that which was fourth last season.

Chelsea Emmerson will be coach of the red, white and blue.

Last season’s coach, Gemma Scott stays on court as a key player.

Newcomers for the Bulldogs include Aleesha and Gemma Flanagan, and Darci Tierney.

Imogen Broad, Abbey Dingwall and Jess Holdstock are three of Pyramid Hill’s most important players.

Inglewood has the bye.

The Abbey Hayes-coached  Blues will play Bears Lagoon-Serpentine at Centre Scaffolding Oval in Inglewood on April 20.