BFNL season preview – Maryborough

AT THE HELM: Shane Skontra is coaching Maryborough for a second season. The Magpies have lost 38 in a row.
AT THE HELM: Shane Skontra is coaching Maryborough for a second season. The Magpies have lost 38 in a row.

MARYBOROUGH FOOTBALL

COACH: Shane Skontra (second year)

LAST YEAR: Tenth

ARRIVALS

Glen Coleman, Matthew Coon, Tanner Hamilton, Mitch Kennedy, Harry Murphy, Joel Radlof, Cameron Rinaldi, William Short.

DEPARTURES

Nil.

THE BASICS

Sportsbet flag odds: $41

Player points: 45

FIRST MONTH

R1: v Castlemaine (a)

R2: v Kyneton (h)

R3: v South Bendigo (a)

R4: v Kangaroo Flat (h)

LAST FIVE YEARS

2016: Tenth (0-18)

2015: Tenth (0-18)

2014: Eighth (5-13)

2013: Eighth (3-13)

2012: Eighth (5-13)

TWO full seasons have now past since Maryborough won a senior game, including the Magpies last year being the worst-performed side in the Bendigo league since North Bendigo’s final season in 1995.

The Magpies copped flogging after flogging, yet in what’s a major credit to second year coach Shane Skontra, the sole name on the departure list is Billy Mahony, who was an aligned-VFL player last year.

Trying to recruit on the back of two winless seasons can’t be an easy task, but Skontra has landed eight new players to inject to the senior team to add some much-needed extra depth.

Among them is full-forward Cameron Rinaldi, returning to Princes Park after the past three years at Kangaroo Flat, where he kicked 128 goals.

Mitch Kennedy is another returning Magpie, while William Short will provide some tall versatility.

Also joining the Magpies seeking more opportunity at senior level are Tanner Hamilton (backman), Matthew Coon (midfield) and Harry Murphy (forward) from the Ballarat league.

The club will also welcome back ruckman Angus Watts and Thomas Roughead, who both missed all of last year through injury.

Q & A with Shane Skontra

Q: Given the club is coming off two years without a win, what are the goals and expectations you have set for your side this year and what is your starting point for improvement?

In terms of getting better, the change of environment at the club has been fairly significant with the guys we've got now.

We've got far better numbers across our seniors and reserves, we're starting to embrace the professionalism required and our off-field has really improved.

I would expect that combination would produce some really strong, competitive performances this year.

We're coming from a long way back, but I'm hopeful we'll be a lot more competitive this year.

MARYBOROUGH NETBALL

Coach: Anika Munn (new)

Last year: Fifth

ARRIVALS

Bridgette Bates, Megan Calleia, Susan Calleija, Nicole Calleija, Tracey Calleija, Louise Cary, Tori Chandler, Deanna Dellis, Chloe DosReis, Kaitlin John, Myah Linton, Elise Macer, Shandelle McMahon, Anika Munn, Hanna Murphy, Brandy Santon, Bella Westbrook, Ellie Wright.

DEPARTURES

Ingrid Hopkins (Kangaroo Flat), Laura Hurse, Maddy Egan,, Steph Fieldew, Laura Hopkins, Stacey Kerr, Stacey King, Ashlee Lierich, Mikaela Lugg, Sophie McQuienn, Olivia O'Shea, Emma Potter, Katherine Potter, Georgia Robertson, Jordan Spokes, Abbey Wagstaff.

COACHING PANEL

A-reserve: Susan Calleja

B-reserve: Sarah Lohmann and Jaymie Proctor

17-and-under: Jordan Macilwain and Chloe Egan

LAST THREE YEARS

2016: Fifth

2015: Sixth

2014: Fifth

AFTER a tough loss to Gisborne in last season's elimination final, and despite two key player losses, Maryborough is looking to push as a finals contender again in 2017.

The Magpies have welcomed former Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara league player and Kaniva Leeor United coach Anika Munn into the fold.

She replaces Ingrid Hopkins, who has switched to Kangaroo Flat, as coach.

Munn takes charge of a skilful and talented squad led by sharp-shooter Jordan Macilwain (who is coaching the club’s 17-and-under team with Chloe Egan), midcourters Alicia Cassidy and Ashlee Lierich and defender Alisha Chadwick.

The Magpies are likely to be without dependable Laura Hurse, who finished third behind Strathfieldsaye's Brianna Dalrymple Monro and Gisborne's Madeline Stewart in the Betty Thompson league medal count.

But a long list of player arrivals across the grades should ensure Maryborough will be competitive across all grades, with a huge emphasis placed on attracting and retaining juniors.

The Magpies have finished fifth twice in the last three seasons and sixth once. A similar finish ahead of finals should be attainable.

Alicia Cassidy

Alicia Cassidy

Q&A with Anika Munn

Q: Tell us a little bit about your background?

My family has recently relocated to Carisbrook from Bordertown, South Australia. I played netball in the Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara Netball Association. I played a majority of my junior netball for Kaniva Leeor United. Throughout my junior netball I played in all positions, this allowed me to play a number of senior games to assist in my development. I made the move to Bordertown Netball Club in under-17s and played all my senior netball for Bordertown. While playing for Bordertown I started off in C Grade moved my up to A Grade in the mid court. At Bordertown I was an active member of the club, playing, coaching and umpiring. I played in a number of grand finals and have won two premierships as a coach and player. My love for netball saw me go back to coach at Kaniva Leeor United in 2016 while I was pregnant. We won a few games but unfortunately did not make finals. I have loved netball all my life and being involved in a netball club. Working together and using everyone's individual skills to achieve the shared goal of success, whether that be taking on a role like umpiring, team managing, scoring, timing, coaching or playing as a member of a team. Netball just brings people from all walks of life together. I am really looking forward to this season and being a member of the Maryborough Magpies.