Bulldogs baring teeth

October 13, 2017

Fiona Boyer and Lisa Cullum.

Molly Boyle

Emma Ryan

Jacqui James

Alex Bertram

The recent Goulburn Valley League netball season may still be visible in the rear-view mirror, but Tatura is already hitting the ground running ahead of next year’s campaign.

The Bulldogs have named Molly Boyle and Emma Ryan as A-grade playing co-coaches for next year after the former took the side to three victories (up from none in 2016) this season.

But Boyle said she could not have done it without her new official partner at the helm.

‘‘It will definitely make my job easier, being a playing coach is harder than it probably looks,’’ she said.

‘‘But I guess Emma helped me out a lot during the year anyway, so it is only really natural progression that she’s now coaching as well.’’

Along with Boyle and Ryan, the Bulldogs have announced almost their full complement of netball coaches across the grades, including the new 15-and-under competition to be introduced next year.

A-grade best-and-fairest winner Jacqui James will co-coach the B-reserve team with fellow star Alex Bertram, while Boyle and Ryan will also guide Tatura’s 17-and-under side.

Lisa Cullum and Fiona Boyer will take on the task of leading the club’s youngest players into a new era, while the B-grade role remains available.

‘‘It’s really good, I think last year this was organised a little bit later due to me moving up from Ballarat, but it’s nice to have all of our other coaches locked in besides B-grade,’’ Boyle said.

‘‘We’ve got a really good mix of youth and experience in our coaches and it’s awesome to have Lisa and Fiona on board.

‘‘I see us as a whole club, not separate teams, which is why we trained together a lot and we will do that again, because you can always learn so much from each other.

‘‘We’re really trying to build that club atmosphere and I think (the 15-and-under competition) is a fantastic idea, to have more young girls involved in the club will be great because Tatura is a really good family club.’’

Cullum has experience with Tatura’s Shepparton Netball Association squads and is an A-grade premiership player with the Bulldogs.

‘‘I have had a period where I haven’t been coaching, so a period of not coaching, coaching seniors, then not coaching and I’m really enjoying getting back into the juniors and very much enjoyed last year,’’ she said.

‘‘(The 15-and-under team) is a really good age group, they’re just starting to learn the game of netball, they’re moving out of that skills-based program and into more game play, more setting up down court and it’s a really nice age group to coach.

‘‘We’ve got a really good coaching group at the moment, we’ve had a couple of meetings already and chatted about how we want the season to run and how we’re going to approach our selection, and that should continue all year, I don’t see any reason why it won’t.’’

Meanwhile, Boyer dominated at various levels during her playing career and has coached at association and regional level.

‘‘We’re very excited, we had a successful season with Lisa coaching our 15-and-under division one in the SNA, so we would hope that with the bottom age players we’ve already got a really strong group and that we would be ready to be competitive in this new competition,’’ she said.

‘‘I’ve been sort of following my daughter along, so once she started in the juniors I’ve been coaching around about her age group. So the 15s are an older age group than I have coached in previous years, but I’m looking forward to some older girls and more skills to be able to develop in them.’’

Trials for all Tatura netball teams will be held on November 9, 15 and 20 at its home courts from 6pm (15 and 17-and-under) and 7pm (open age groups), with Boyle confident her A-grade charges will again climb up the ladder next year.

‘‘Obviously we’re in a big rebuilding phase and we knew it wouldn’t happen in one season,’’ she said. ‘‘But we would be disappointed if we didn’t improve again next year.’’

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