New mix for flag defence

Ash Spokes has made the move from Hampden league club Camperdown to Woorndoo Mortlake for the 2019 Mininera and District season.

PREPARATIONS for Woorndoo Mortlake’s Mininera and District A grade netball premiership defence are starting to ramp up.

Coach Georgia Muir said the Tigers were currently in the middle of their practice match phase of their pre-season.

“We started pre-season on the first Thursday in February and we’ve been training really well,” she said.

“We had a practice game against Panmure (a week ago) which was really good and we’ve got one scheduled against Stawell this Sunday.”

Muir said Woorndoo Mortlake had been able to have most of the playing group from last year’s grand final win against Tatyoon recommit for season 2019.

She said Jess Cameron and Chris Boyd were the only confirmed departures, but their losses have been offset by the arrival of several new faces.

“We have retained everyone from last year’s premiership side except for Jess Cameron, she is now playing at Camperdown and Chris Boyd, she has retired,” she said.

“We’ve picked up Ash Spokes from Camperdown, we’ve got Pip Boyle who will play both A and B grade and Mikayla Hahn who will play B grade.

“And Nicole Anderson is returning, she played last year but didn’t play finals.”

With the Tigers’ season just under three weeks away, Muir said they are using their forthcoming training sessions to continue to “consolidate their combinations”.

She said with the loss of Jess Cameron, Ash Spokes would be a ready-made replacement but admitted both Spokes and the rest of the team would need to get a greater understanding of each other.

“We’ll just focus on our combinations,” she said.

“Ash will play in goals with Sarah Cameron and Nicole is back in a few weeks time, so we’ll be looking at consolidating our new combinations.”

While much of the focus will be on the A grade netballers this year, the season is going to be eventful on the netball court for the club’s re-formed under 17 team.

Muir said the club would field a side in the grade after an extended lay-off, with everyone involved in the netball side of things “excited” to have them back on court.

“For Woorndoo netball in general, it’s really exciting this year because we are fielding an under 17 side whereas we haven’t fielded one for the last few years,” she said.

“So we’ve got all full teams which is great and we’ve also got some great juniors that are training with the senior group.”

The Tigers’ season will commence on April 13 against SMW Rovers, with that game to now be played at Woorndoo after originally being fixtured for Mininera.

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