Yarra Glen Football Netball Club enjoyed a great year in 2022 with solid results across the board to suggest they were always competitive.
With strong playing numbers at the club, the senior football side finished in fourth which showed they were always in contention with the best, while the reserves also finished with some strong momentum after a poor start.
Club president Vincent Erickson said the seniors did well this year to prove themselves as genuine contenders every week.
“In all the games we dominated, we didn’t take our foot off the pedal and just kept running them to ground,” he said.
“So, I think that shows signs of improvement and we weren’t far from getting to the top.”
Headed by new coach Wayne Van Der Ross, his change of the game plan and a capacity to get the best out of his players showed he had an ability to get his message across in a strong way.
All the netball teams had a great year as well as finishing inside the top five on their respective ladders, while A grade had all the momentum in the back half of the season to suggest they were really starting to gel together at the right time.
The B grade team was the most outstanding of them all to finish undefeated as minor premiers, which was the result of being a well-rounded team from the goalkeeper right through to the goal shooters with strengths all over the court.
Experienced netball player and coach Brett Holman was hired as head of the netball department, where his professionalism and knowledge of the game is of a high level.
“Brett coached the A, B and C grade teams as part of his overarching role and gaining someone of his experience was fantastic,” Erickson explained.
“The feedback from the girls was they have enjoyed and understood training so much under his tuition, such as why they are doing drills, and how they prepare for game day.
“I think the girls have really progressed with their netball throughout the season.”
Across the 10 games contested by the River Pigs this season, the key players from the football side that stood out this season were the likes of captain Ben Ashton, Jayden Schille, Liam Evans, Cameron Tait, Sam Wood, Callum Morison, Daniel Hurley and Richard Wyles.
In the netball stakes, Katelyn Vanderkolk, Bree Pascoe, Georgia Taylor and Jacqui Gardner were clear standouts while Steph Gibbs, Prue Morse and Chelsea Birchall starred in the undefeated B grade squad.
The Pride Cup match in May was a clear highlight as the seniors grabbed the win to maintain its stranglehold on the cup since its inauguration in 2013.
Despite losing both games against ladder leaders Kinglake by small margins, Erickson regarded the two games against the Lakers as strong points of its football season.
“We were really into those games up to our eyeballs,” he said.
“The games were there for us to win, but we didn’t quite get there.
“If we had another five minutes of play in each game then I think we might have won in pretty poor conditions.”
Looking ahead into 2022, Yarra Glen are aiming to form an under 19’s side to provide opportunities for young players to begin the transition into senior football directly from the junior club, rather than venture elsewhere for those intervening years.
Glenn Murray has already been hired as coach for a new women’s team that is hoped to shape up for next season, while a veteran’s team is also a work in progress.
The club is also on the lookout for a Football Manager, more volunteers to replenish the numbers lost during the covid period as well as providing opportunities for more people to join the committee.
Erickson thanked all the playing group, members and volunteers for their efforts during the 2021 season in difficult circumstances.
“As a club, I think we banded together well this year and hope we can return in 2022 in a better position to get back out there enjoying ourselves again,” Erickson mentioned.
“All our sponsors were fantastic for us, particularly our major partners in Yarra Valley Grand Hotel, Lilydale Lawns and MDA Finance who really stuck by us.”
|ATC Traffic Division Two||4th||6||4|
|PFG Australia Division Two Reserves||5th||4||6|
|Kärcher Division Two A Grade||5th||3||6|
|Kärcher Division Two B Grade||1st||10||0|
|Kärcher Division Two C Grade||4th||6||4|
|Kärcher Division Two D Grade||3rd||7||3|