Sport

Dogs bolster A-grade squad

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November 30, 2017

Emerging talent Paigan Impey will switch from the Cattery to the Kennel for next season, joining Tatura in the Goulburn Valley League.

Tatura has set the squad it hopes will build on last year’s much improved season, with Paigan Impey and Brylee Schache important acquisitions.

Having progressed from a winless last year to three victories this year, the Bulldogs were vastly more competitive than recent seasons.

Senior coach Molly Boyle was at the forefront of the rebuild and has again formed a side capable of achieving more success.

Mooroopna speedster Impey has joined Boyle’s squad in a move that will boost Tatura’s pace through the midcourt.

She will combine with Jacqui James through the middle third, taking tips from the Bulldogs’ reigning best-and-fairest winner along the way.

This year’s Cats coach Jenni McCluskey heaped praise on Impey, who will be a player to watch in the future.

Boyle has also recruited Schache, with the pair having ties that link back to playing together with the Ballarat Pride in the 19-and-under Victorian Netball League competition.

With Emma Ryan also a part of the same VNL squad, the trio will have no trouble falling in line with each other’s style of play.

The Bulldogs have retained most of this year’s A-grade team, with only Elle Henderson moving on as she returns to Gippsland.

Veteran Alex Bertram will be sidelined while recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament injury, but club netball operations manager Simon Pogue was thrilled to have her co-coaching the B-reserve team with James.

‘‘She’s got a lot to offer and is a great player, so we’re devastated she is not going to be playing while she does rehab for her knee, but it’s a great opportunity to utilise her as a coach,’’ he said.

Pogue said tryouts for all sides were well attended with the Bulldogs already sorting the under-15s team it will enter into the new GVL competition next season.

‘‘We’re really excited about our 15-and-under team, they had a super competitive year (at the SNA) losing in the preliminary final to eventual premiers Shepparton Swans, so we’re looking forward to seeing where Fiona Boyer and Lisa Cullum can take them.’’

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