EAGLEHAWK has appointed experienced coach Gayle Annan as its new A-grade coach for the 2021 BFNL season.
Annan, who formerly coached North Central representative teams and was previously a northern region talent scout for Netball Victoria, replaces Allira Holmes, who did not seek reappointment following the cancelled 2020 season.
Under Holmes, Eaglehawk finished the 2019 season in third place, bowing out of the premiership race with a preliminary final loss to runners-up Kangaroo Flat.
It was the Hawks' highest-placed finish since their last premiership year in 2012.
Annan will take charge of a new-look A-grade team following the loss of several of 2019's playing list, but has been quick to put a call out there for potential A-grade players to consider joining the club.
The Hawks will host tryouts later this month and in early February, with the new coach keen to see plenty of fresh faces at Canterbury Park.
Annan, who established the Bendigo United Netball Club, which entered teams in GCNA Saturday competition and has a long involvement in coaching teams at State Titles, said she was looking forward to returning to coaching after a three-year break.
"Eaglehawk has always been a solid club and I know there's a bit of a restructure to go on, particularly in A-grade, but everything is a challenge," she said.
"You can have the best pre-season ever, but everything is still a challenge - there are ups and downs, and different levels of challenges.
"I have coached in Bendigo, but not in the BFNL, so that's another good challenge.
"I know I bring a lot of experience to the position and the ability for open communication within the team.
"From my point of view, it will be about getting to know everyone upfront and setting goals with each other and working out how to progress to those goals and setting targets."
Clear focuses of Annan's coaching philosophy revolve around skill development, fault detection and correction and team cohesion.
"They might not like a hot pre-season, which we will have, but to actually get back onto the court and to fight and be focused and feel that you are actually improving alongside other like-minded people, that's what brings players to netball," she said.
"The ability to fight - in a positive way - on the court, and building skills and knowledge and supporting and backing each other up, that's what I want to focus on.
"I'm very big on building team cohesion."
Annan's appointment completes Eaglehawk's coaching panel for 2021, with Eleisha Lay taking on the role of A-reserve playing coach, with Jackie Gallagher as a mentor, Paige Combridge to lead B-grade, Kara Thompson to coach B-reserve with Cathy Mylon as the assistant, and A-grade defender Elley Lawton again taking charge of the 17-and-under team.
Tryout dates (at Canterbury Park): Thursday, January 28 (6-8pm); Saturday, January 30 (3-5pm); Monday, February 1 (7-9pm).
Registrations close on Monday, January 25. Inquiries to email@example.com
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