AN EXPECTED tough inter-league encounter for the BFNL's 17-and-under team against Outer East is the next stop on the road to a potential Netball Victoria Association Championships berth.
The BFNL's young guns will look to back up their fantastic from last month's Shepparton Netball Association Tournament, in which they finished runners-up.
Not to downplay the importance of inter-league netball, coach Melinda Keighran said her side's ultimate goal was winning a spot at the Association Championships on July 23.
"Obviously tomorrow is a huge game for us we want to win on our home soil, but doing well at Association Championships is the goal for us," she said.
"The seniors automatically make it to the finals, to be played down in Frankston, but we have to qualify.
"Association champs for the 17s will be on June 5 in Echuca and we need to win or be runners up there to get through to Frankston."
The BFNL enter the match without Sandhurst's Piper Dunlop due to basketball commitments, but will return for the Association Championships Northern qualifiers on June 5.
Despite her absence, the BFNL will take to the court with a strong side, to be captained by South Bendigo A-grader Chloe Langley, backed by vice-captain Ruby Turner, from Sandhurst.
"We had a really good training run on Tuesday night, where we worked on some attacking and defensive drills and centre-court systems," Keighran said.
"I am sure Outer East is going to be really strong - they have some really good coaches and strong netballers.
"It will be a real challenge for our girls. I have every confidence the girls are up to the challenge."
The BFNL boasts plenty of experience, with Langley and Turner respectively in their second and third years in the squad and previously featured at A-grade level, while Golden Square pair Abbey Grindal and Abbey Clohesy both made their A-grade debut against Maryborough last weekend.
Carissa Brooks (South Bendigo) and Ashlee O'Shea (Golden Square) are also in their second season with the squad.
The full squad for Saturday is Kayla Ashcroft (Golden Square), Carissa Brook (South Bendigo)Abbey Clohesy (Golden Square), Abbey Grindal (Golden Square), Arriah Keogh (Eaglehawk), Chloe Langley (South Bendigo), Morgan McLennan (South Bendigo), Georgia Murray (Gisborne), Ashlee O'Shea (Golden Square) and Ruby Turner (Sandhurst).
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