Experienced coach Michelle McKay will take on the A-grade netball role at Katandra.
She is hoping to lead from the sidelines, but the itch to jump back onto the court and be a playing coach never seems to subside.
‘‘I don’t think (I’ll play), but it’s always in the back of mind and it’s always going to be there,’’ McKay said.
‘‘You never say never, but the goal is just to be on the sidelines, I think for me it’s probably more rewarding than playing.’’
McKay can draw on knowledge stemming from having coached in an array of different leagues across two decades. Time in charge of Mooroopna, Shepparton Swans, Ardmona and Undera has left plenty in the netball community praising McKay for her influence on players.
McKay is overjoyed to again return to a smaller country club and lead the Kats in the Picola District Netball League.
‘‘It’s kind of the first time that I’ve taken on a role where I haven’t been affiliated with a club or following a child to one,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s pretty exciting after having a year off of netball completely, so I’m more than ready to get back into it.’’
Although not being a long-term member at Katandra, she said she had quickly been made to feel settled.
‘‘I’ve been welcomed by so many people within the club as well as other coaches outside the club who all say ‘you’re going to love it there’ and that’s coming from people that play at other clubs,’’ McKay said.
‘‘I can just feel that the respect is there already and I’m really looking forward to it.
‘‘My aim is that we’re competitive and that I’m going to be able to get the best out of my players.’’
The Kats will begin a rebuild this year after a period of enormous success.
Having previously won four premierships in five years, Katandra did not reach the finals last season.
While Bec Osmond has stepped down from the head coaching role, she is likely to continue to play under McKay.
But the incoming coach was excited about the opportunity to bring through the next generation.
‘‘I guess they’re on the rebuilding phase and I definitely have had some success with bringing a team together and not so much looking at wins, but jelling a team together is a strong point of mine and that comes back to my background of fitness and getting the best out of people and I really thrive on that,’’ McKay said.
The Kats begin pre-season next week with trials to come next month.