THE coach of Sandhurst’s last A-grade premiership team says she is long past being ready to hand over the mantle to the club’s current leaders.
Jannaya Webb was coach of the Dragons when they completed a hat-trick of flag wins in 2007.
She was also in charge when Sandhurst made its last top-grade grand final appearance in 2012 against Eaglehawk.
Webb, who has had several stints as A-grade coach – most recently in 2016 – said a drought-breaking premiership would be fitting reward for a great season and the efforts of the first-year coaching combination of Tamara Gilchrist and Heather Oliver.
“I can’t wait for the girls to give it a good crack on Saturday,” she said.
“I am more than happy to hand over that title (of last premiership coach) to Tam and Ollie, they’ve worked extremely hard this year to form a great bunch of girls and get them to that next step.
“I’d like to see them rewarded for their efforts – they’ve been great coaches, great leaders and great role models around the club, so it would be a pleasure to hand over that title to them.”
As many grand final coaches allude to, past history counts for nothing in the heat of grand final battle.
Despite Sandhurst having beaten the Bulldogs on all three occasions this season, Webb said the Dragons could expect nothing less than a tough battle against a seasoned finals campaigner.
“You never know on the day – hopefully the nerves on the day don’t play havoc too much,” she said.
While she is no longer the A-grade coach, Webb will still have a leading role on Saturday as joint coach of the Dragons’ under-18 team alongside Laura Parkhill.
The young Dragons have survived three tough finals to reach the grand final from fifth position and will play Maryborough.
Asked for her memories of the Dragons’ last premiership, Webb said it was hard to bring up 2007 without mentioning the hat-trick.
“It was just an amazing time to have and look back on and remember,” she said.
“We’ve had three reunions over the last three years and this year was probably the biggest.
“It’s a time (2005-07) we’ll all look back on fondly, but I am more than happy to get another cup in the cupboard this weekend.”Jannaya Webb
“That bunch of girls has all gone on to do great things, but we always have that friendship.
“It’s great to see some of those girls still playing – Briona Giddings is lining up yet again for another premiership (in A-reserve).
“It’s a time we’ll all look back on fondly, but I am more than happy to get another cup in the cupboard this weekend.”
Sandhurst’s last premiership win was against Golden Square, which is also the Dragons’ opponent on Saturday.
The Dragons’ line-up on that day in 2007 was Webb (goal attack), Claire Gibbs (goal shooter/goal attack), Meaghan Atkins (wing attack), Briona Giddings (centre), Trina Chandler (wing defence), Ash Cole (goal defence), Madeline Foott (goal keeper), Stacey Randall (wing defence), Ingrid Henderson (goal attack) and Teigan Redwood.
Gibbs continues to play A-grade netball, but for Strathfieldsaye, while Redwood was this season playing coach of Loddon Valley club Calivil United.
Randall (now Rothacker) was the Loddon Valley league joint best and fairest with Bridgewater, while Atkins (now Winter) this season won a South East Football Netball League B-grade league medal with Pakenham.