The first year in premier division for ROC Netball Club has been presented with several changes to its senior squad but are still expected to have a strong year in 2022.
Simon O’Shanassy returns as A grade coach where there are several list changes from last season, which includes:
– Sidney Kneebone returning after playing at Koo Wee Rup over the last couple of years
– Ciara Nelson and Katherine Grigoriou coming across from Beaconsfield
– Olivia Hamilton returning after some time away
– Losing Emily McInnes and outgoing captain Zoe Callanan due to new working career opportunities
Reigning Best & Fairest winner Sam Neil will fill the void as captain while rising star Keely Burgmann will continue to play for the club around her prior commitments with netball at state level.
Reigning B & C Grade Best & Fairest winners Amy Jones and Rebecca Johnson will also front up for another year, as they too prepare for the challenge of premier division.
10 teams across the club will take the court this season, with Nelson to take charge of 17 & Under Blue, as part of a wider push to encourage senior players to get involved with coaching at junior level.
The pre-season training program has been a positive experience thus far, where the mentality and motivation levels of all players has been of a high standard and building fitness levels has been a key focus area in preparation for the challenge that premier division presents.
New club president Nicole Robbins is excited about what 2022 presents for her club, where the overarching theme of being able to play a full season is appealing.
“I feel like we have some unfinished business where we didn’t get to play finals and have a really good hit out,” she said.
“Everyone in the club is keen to back to some normality in life and get started.”
The move to premier division also presents the opportunity to go up against clubs they have never played before in Olinda Ferny Creek, Upwey Tecoma and Woori Yallock, where the Kangaroos look forward to building healthy new rivalries.
From a president’s perspective, the way the club conducts itself on and off the field is of the highest importance while a finals appearance across all teams is a main goal in terms of on-field competitiveness.
“I expect all players and teams to show respect for our competitors, demonstrate good sportsmanship and play good quality netball,” Robbins explained.
“I think we are capable of making finals, so the initial aim for us is to make the top five because beyond that it’s anyone’s game.
“Before we commence season 2022, I would like to take this opportunity to appreciate the efforts of all players, committee members and volunteers up to this point of the year, as it’s shaping up to be an exciting season.”