HEATHCOTE District league powerhouse Colbinabbin will have a new leader in 2019, with Georgia Rodger taking over the reins as coach.
The class midcourter replaces two-time premiership coach Liz Cobbledick, who is remaining with the Grasshoppers as a player.
Cobbledick, who coached the HDFNL inter-league team to a victory against Geelong District last season, guided Colbinabbin to premierships in 2016 and ’17.
The Grasshoppers were runners-up to White Hills in 2018.
Rodger, who joined the Grasshoppers last season, said she jumped at the chance to coach when the position became vacant.
“First I had to toss up whether it was possible with my work being pretty intense and a few other little things I do in my spare time, but now that it’s official I am real excited,” she said.
“I’ve always had a fairly intense passion for netball.
“My mum (former state league coach Robyn Smith) has been a coach for a long time in the Goulburn Valley (league) and growing up with her it’s been netball talk my whole life.
“That’s granted me that (coaching) mindset and an ability to think about different things in regards to netball.”
One of the undoubted challenges for the new coach will be the same one faced by her predecessor in bringing team members from separate parts of the state together for training.
“It is hard with half the team being in Melbourne and the other half being in the Bendigo-Colbo area,” Rodger said.
“I think we only came together twice as a full team throughout the season, so coming up against a team like White Hills, which trains together twice a week was quite the challenge.
“There are a few things I’d like to hone in on to see what we can do (to get together more often).”
The Grasshoppers look to have retained the bulk of their 2018 team, including Cobbledick, star midcourter Olivia McEvoy, goal shooter Lou Dupuy and defender Kate Chirnside.
One player Rodger is looking forward to spending more time in green and yellow is Tylah Marchbank, who made a sprinkling of appearances last season and was one of the Grasshoppers’ best in their preliminary final win against Mount Pleasant.
“Tylah is an absolute jet … she played in the GV (Goulburn Valley) for years and years and won nearly every best and fairest I was involved with.
“It will be great to have her playing a bit more and she is bringing a mate across, who is a good midcourter.”
Pre-season training for the Grasshoppers commences this Monday at 6pm at the Colbinabbin netball courts, followed by sessions on February 18 and 25.
Match play and team selection dates are March 7, 14 and 21 at 6.15pm, with all new, past and current players welcome.
For further details or to register interest, contact Hannah Fuller via email at email@example.com
Prospective coaches, umpires, team managers, sponsors and volunteers can contact Kathy Ryan via email at Bernie.firstname.lastname@example.org
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