KYNETON'S impressive form in its return to BFNL A-grade netball has not gone unnoticed, especially down the road at Gisborne.
The Bulldogs, who opened the 2019 season with a bye, will be the next opponent for the Tigers on Good Friday, in a match-up reigning league Betty Thompson medallist Maddy Stewart describes as a tough prospect.
"It will be interesting facing Kyneton, we know whenever we face them they are really good regardless of anything," she said.
"We obviously didn't get to them play them last year, but they won the A-res premiership with a really strong side and then had a great win last weekend.
"We're looking forward to it. We love playing them and especially on Good Friday. It will be tough.
"It will be exciting playing on Good Friday, there should be a really big crowd at Gisborne
"We know all the netball games will be really strong games, as well as the football. There's a really good atmosphere around the club."
Stewart said the Bulldogs' preparation had in no way been hampered by the late off-season loss of their 2018 coach Kim Bailey, who has returned to her former role as netball manager for AFL Goldfields.
Leesa Lord, who coached the A-reserve team to a finals berth last season and will continue in the role this season, will lead the A-grade team this week and until a new coach is appointed.
The Bulldogs, who will be hoping to go one better in 2019 after finishing runner-up to Sandhurst in an epic grand final last September, will have a few on-court changes in personnel, with Melinda Luke joining Riddell and Rachel McKenzie now at Heathcote District league club North Bendigo.
New faces include Emerson Lakey and former Sandhurst junior and VNL player Lilly Walsh.
Stewart said both players had fitted into the mix exceptionally well.
"We will have a fairly consistent line-up, which is something we've strived for, but we have a lot of youth coming through and those girls will get a lot of opportunity," she said.
"First-up we have got Emerson Lakey stepping-up - she has come all the way through from under-17s and had an awesome season in A-res last year.
"She is one to watch and one who have a lot of opportunity.
"And Lilly is a good pick-up who will come in and strengthen our defence. She has slotted in well both on and off the court and I can't wait to get on the court with her as well."
In other games this weekend, Eaglehawk hosts South Bendigo and Sandhurst clashes with Strathfieldsaye on Good Friday, while Golden Square and Kangaroo Flat meet at Wade Street on Saturday.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.