LODDON Valley Football Netball League is hoping its return to inter-league netball action on Saturday can be a victorious one.
The LVFNL has not been represented at inter-league level since 2015, when its open netball squad coached by Jenny Morrison defeated Alberton 63-35.
This year’s squad will be coached by Newbridge’s 2016 premiership coach Carmen Shevlin, who takes charge of a tall and athletic squad for the clash at Queen Elizabeth Oval against Golden Rivers.
The nine-player squad comprises Bears-Lagoon Serpentine’s Maddison Smedley, Bridgewater pair Jessey Wilson and Olivia Treloar, Mitiamo’s Lucy Morcom, Amelia Ludeman and Julia Twigg and Newbridge’s Sharlene Hannig, Meg Jennings and Lauren Knight.
It is a totally fresh line-up to that which represented the league in 2015.
The squad on that day included Meg Allen, Kym Childs (Bridgewater), Farin Lawrence (Marong), Tahnee Cannan (Mitiamo), Jane King (Newbridge) and Kirby Mann, Gabby Kennedy, Zoe Kennedy and Abbey Dingwall (Pyramid Hill).
Shevlin, who stepped down from coaching after the Maroons’ 48-year drought-breaking premiership, but remains involved with the league as an umpire, was confident of success against a young Golden Rivers line-up.
“We had an initial squad of 24 players, but a few (players) have acquired some niggles and injuries since then, but we still had a very good squad to choose from,” she said.
“I’m confident we have a nice strong team that can be successful.
“What we have heard about Golden Rivers is they are a quite young side, mostly about 17 to 20.
“They will be enthusiastic, so we will need to be smart.”
The squad includes three newcomers to the league in Morcom and Wilson, who have crossed from the BFNL clubs Golden Square and Strathfieldsaye, and Smedley, who has impressed at both ends of the court for the Bears this season.
Shevlin said she could not fault the squad’s commitment.
“They’re all looking forward it, even though it does all happen pretty quickly,” she said.
“We’ll have our final training run on Thursday (at the QEO) and then straight into it on Saturday.
“Being the only football and netball in the region, hopefully it will be a good spectacle for everyone to come out and support.”
Match day program
Under-18 football v Heathcote District – 11:15am
17-and-under netball v Golden Rivers – noon
Senior football v Golden Rivers - 1:30pm
Open netball v Golden Rivers – 1:30pm