THERE is a famous saying: "The road to success comes through hard work, determination and sacrifice."
It's something Kyneton netball coach Dianne Guest-Oakley knows plenty about and hopes can serve as a blueprint to a prosperous first season back in the BFNL A-grade netball ranks for the Tigers.
You would be hard-pressed to find anyone as passionate and hard working as the Tigers coach.
Guest-Oakley will this season coach the club's entire four senior teams - A-grade, A-reserve, B-grade and B-reserve.
The Tigers won't be fielding a 17-and-under team in 2019, but there are no prizes for guessing who would have likely led that team if there was one.
But that won't make Guest-Oakley any less busier on game day. A hectic Saturday will get under way hours earlier than the day's A-grade contest, when she coaches the Kyneton and District Netball Association's under-15 team in Gisborne each Saturday.
It's a mammoth task made even more arduous by the regular travel back and forth to Kyneton from Melbourne each week.
Her unrelenting commitment and unequivocal devotion for the game is encapsulated by just one word - passion.
"It (netball) is my passion .... it's my passion. And I love it," Guest-Oakley said.
"I have so much to give and I just want to give everything I can to these girls and they are thriving because of it, which is so great to see."
Guest-Oakley concedes it has been a tough, and at times tiring, slog rebuilding the club from its former level of two teams in 2017 (A-grade and B-reserve), to three without an A-grade in 2018, to the current level of four.
"But the adrenaline is keeping me going and the passion is still there, she said.
"And the girls make my job easier ... they are fantastic. They love the training and everything I'm giving them.
"It's been a slog, but we've done it (returned to A-grade)."
I have so much to give and I just want to give everything I can to these girls.Dianne Guest-Oakley
While she is confident the Tigers can attain a good measure of success in an ever-strengthening A-grade competition - starting this Saturday night against Golden Square - Oakley-Guest knows the hard-work is likely only beginning.
As Kyneton and BFNL followers are only too aware, there have been stops and starts for the Tigers before.
The Tigers disappeared altogether from the BFNL in 2013, when they were unable to field a senior football team, while they did not have an A-grade netball team in 2018.
Guest-Oakley knows a bright future lies in the development of the club's junior program and the eventual return of a 17-and-under team, which is why she has taken on the added responsibility of coaching the under-15s.
"We need to keep building on what we've done," she said.
"The momentum is there, there are a lot of girls who have returned to the club, who are excited about playing and excited about just being back at the club again.
"We want to keep that momentum."
The Tigers' A-grade team will contain most of the same players from last season's A-reserve premiership team, coached by Guest-Oakley, plus recruits Emma Webb Tegan Beckerley.
Webb, a joint league best and fairest in 2015, is one of several former players to return to the Tigers' den this season.
The 2018 A-reserve triumph was the club's second only netball flag win following a B-grade triumph in 2014.
Kyneton Football Netball Club president Karen O'Sullivan said the club was 'absolutely indebted' to the coach, describing her as 'a saviour' for the netball department.
"In just a few short years, she has brought it (netball) from basically 'ground zero' to almost a full-complement of sides and hopefully next year we will have an under-17 team to take us to a full five teams, which will tick all the boxes and complete the journey and fulfill our obligations to the league," she said.
"Much of that is attributed to Di's effort and passion for the game - she's become a Kyneton Tiger through-and-through.
"She diligently comes up from Melbourne each week with no complaints and is such an easy person to work with and so giving."
O'Sullivan, who is in her second year as president and has seen close-up the immense work the club's coach has undertaken to fill four netball sides, believes there will be no prouder person at Kyneton Showgrounds on Saturday night when the A-grade team returns to the court for the first-time since 2017.
"She is certainly one of the hardest working people in our club and certainly deserves all the accolades that come her way," she said.
"That A-reserve premiership last year was 100 per cent her coaching, plus the effort the girls put in.
"One expects she will be rewarded this year by those players stepping up to A-grade."
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