NEWLY appointed Pyramid Hill A-grade netball coach Emily Prout is looking forward to the challenge of coaching at senior level for the first time.
Prout, one of the stars of the Bulldogs’ most recent premiership win in 2017, has taken over the top job from Zoe Kennedy.
She inherits a Bulldogs side, which finished last season one win shy of a finals berth, with a 7-9 win-loss record, their season cruelled by serious injuries to the new coach (ankle) and Milly Op't Hoog (broken wrist).
Prout, who crossed to Pyramid Hill from Heathcote District club Leitchville-Gunbower in 2016,
While tryouts will not be held until February, Prout indicated there would be a mix of new faces in the A-grade team.
“We’ll have a couple of new faces coming in and few old ones coming back, which will be good,” she said.
“I plan on us going back to basics and just enjoying the year.
“Fingers crossed we will be injury free. We ended up with only five in A-grade last year, which was a real struggle.
“It was hard on the B-graders, (some) who were forced to play two games.”
One player who will definitely be missing is last year’s coach and 2017 grand final MVP Kennedy, who will play with Bendigo league club Strathfieldsaye in 2019.
While she is new to the senior role, Prout is not without coaching experience.
She previously coached the club’s 17-and-under-team and certainly relished the experience.
Prout will be joined on the senior coaching panel by Bec McKnight (B-grade) and Kelly Gould (C-grade and C-reserve).
Further cause for excitement is the signing of former Kangaroo Flat, Lexton and Dunolly A-grade premiership coach Vicky Tierney, who joins the Bulldogs after leading Inglewood to grand finals in three grades last season and the Blues’ 17-and-under team to a premiership in 2016.
“It will be great working alongside Vicky and hopefully we can get some of our juniors playing some senior games,” Prout said.
“She has a great coaching record and will no doubt give me a few coaching tips, which will be real handy.
“(2017 A-grade premiership coach) Deb Forster is also going to help out all the senior coaches in the background.
“Having Bec and Kelly beside me has really worked out well.”
Pyramid Hill faces a tough opening to the season against reigning premier Bridgewater on April 6.
The Bulldogs will play another of last season’s top-three teams in round two at Mitiamo, before a bye in round three.
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