The long wait is finally over.
Katandra will take to the court in the Murray Netball League for the first time today after a tumultuous off-season and coach Michelle McKay is keen to start a new chapter in the Kats’ history.
‘‘I’m just ready to get started and get that first game out of the way,’’ McKay said.
‘‘It’s been a big build-up and the unknown can create a lot of stress and anxiety, but we never doubted Katandra the club.
‘‘We had faith in them like they’ve got faith in us to go and represent them on a Saturday.
‘‘We’re very thankful to the Murray league for letting us come on board and thankful to our club and all the people behind the scenes, there was some pretty hard workers making sure (today) happens.
‘‘I think we’ve sat around for too long anticipating it and we just want to get out there and play our standard of netball, which I think is pretty high.’’
McKay has two decades of coaching experience under her belt, including stints at Ardmona, Undera, Mooroopna and Shepparton Swans, and feels her Kats will handle the step-up in class to the Murray system.
‘‘I reckon (we’ll be around the finals mark). The ability of our girls, they could play any league and do just as well as anyone,’’ she said.
‘‘So we’re not probably focusing on the fact we’re in a new league and any expectations that come with that, we’ve just got our team expectations.
‘‘We’re not out to prove we don’t belong or we’re above (other teams), we’re just proving to ourselves that we’re a jelled team and a tight unit already, and that’s just going to translate throughout the season.’’
Most of Katandra’s team members were involved in the club last year, so McKay has focused on improving certain aspects of their game after the side just missed Picola District Football Netball League south-east finals.
‘‘We’ve had a really good, hard preseason fitness wise to get those levels up a bit higher,’’ she said.
‘‘We’re pretty much the same as last season, but there’s a good mix of experience and youth and that’s always a bonus.’’
The Kats play Shepparton East today after the Eagles lost to Tungamah by one goal last week.
Amy Henderson, Sarah Maskell and Shelley Gribbin will all notch up their 50th senior games for the club.
●In other matches today, Barooga faces Rumbalara, Echuca United takes on Numurkah, Finley clashes with Tongala, Mulwala battles Moama, Congupna hosts Deniliquin and Nathalia plays Cobram.
Tungamah has the bye.