CITY West Falcons coach Marg Lind has praised the maturity and dedication of her two Bendigo players ahead of Sundays VNL championship grand final.
Zoe Davies and Imogen Sexton will be aiming for premiership glory when the Falcons clash with Geelong Cougars at the State Netball and Hockey Centre.
A grand final appearance caps a stellar season for Davies, who started her VNL career as a junior with Falcons, and returned to the club this season after playing with Monash University Storm in 2017.
Lind praised Davies, who most recently played BFNL netball with Eaglehawk and will start in goal defence on Sunday, as one of the clubs success stories of 2018 after deciding to dedicate full-time to her VNL netball.
Last year Zoe approached us and said that she really wanted to play with Falcons and wondered if we would give her another chance and we said we would, Lind said.
She had really built herself, changed her attitude and really had a determined approach about her, so we thought she was a better fit for us this time around.
Zoes had a fabulous year and really come along in leaps and bounds. Shes a totally new person, very dedicated and really fits our mould, so we have rewarded her with plenty of court time.
Lind said the Falcons had long-kept tabs on Sexton, whose ascension to the VNL ranks was stalled by a pair of ACL injuries.
The teenager was one of the stars of Sandhursts 2017 BFNL premiership and again looms as a key figure in the Dragons push for back-to-back titles.
We were actually looking for a defender last year and I said to Nicole Richardson, our other coach, how about Imogen Sexton and where is she at, Lind said.
So of course we contacted her and she will still in rehab.
She has done exceptionally well; weve played her through all three teams (championship, division one and under-19).
Our goal for her was to get her through the season and just to expose her to VNL, but she is another one who has come along in leaps and bounds.
She has had a few niggles along the way, but has managed herself well.
Both girls are an absolute pleasure to have at our club.
A third Bendigo player, Anna-Grace Close, from White Hills, also played a handful of games for Falcons during the season.
The Falcons have enjoyed a remarkable run to the finals, after struggling for much of the season.
They have reached the championship decider from fourth position following finals wins over Hawks and Melbourne University Lightning.
A key to the resurgence has been the return of its Australian Netball League contingent, led by 210cm goal shooter Jane Cook, midcourter Molly Jovic, young goal attack Tahnysha Salanoa and goal keeper Jacqui Newton.
After a mixed season, Lind said the Falcons were prepared to go for broke against the Cougars.
We didnt expect to make finals, being so hampered by the ANL the goal was stay in touch with the top sides with a view to if we got there we may have a shot, she said.
We have no nerves and no expectations, we are just going to go for it.
The Falcons-Cougars clash is at 4pm.