GISBORNE'S bid for a first BFNL A-grade premiership since 2013 has received a massive and unexpected early-season boost.
Fresh from a productive pre-season which netted star goal attack Claudia Mawson and youngster on the rise Kirby Elliott, the Bulldogs have added further star power in versatile midcourter Jordan Cransberg.
A training partner with Super Netball club Melbourne Vixens, Cransburg debuted for the Bulldogs in Friday night's win at Kyneton, playing limited minutes.
Bulldogs coach Tarryn Rymer is naturally ecstatic the skilful and prodigiously talented wing attack/centre has unpredictably made her way to Gisborne.
"She approached us looking for some more netball locally ... she is going to be an awesome addition," she said.
"She's actually a Vixens squad member and training partner.
"We put her on for about five minutes on Friday and she played a little bit of A-reserve just to help out because we were a bit short.
"But as of this week she will start playing with us fully, which is very exciting.
"She will be a wonderful addition and she can really play anywhere in that midcourt."
Cransberg plays in the Victorian Netball League (VNL) with Melbourne University Lightning, where she is a team-mate of Gisborne stars Mawson and 2018 Betty Thompson medallist Maddy Stewart.
Her ever-growing resume includes an Australian Netball League (ANL) premiership with Victorian Fury in 2019.
Cransberg joins an influx of players into the BFNL this season with either ANL or VNL, or even Super Netball experience, most of them at Gisborne and Castlemaine, which clash this weekend.
Rymer said it was amazing to sit back and reflect on the calibre of players that had made their way to the Bendigo league in 2022.
"If the league had to pick a representative team today, there are just so many awesome players to choose from," she said.
"There are so many girls playing at the top of their game right now.
"We are so rapt to have gained Jordan, she'll be a very important player for us."
The Bulldogs, with star defender Stewart back on deck, rebounded in the best manner possible from a rare poor showing against Sandhurst in round one by defeating the Tigers 65-31.
Rymer said she was grateful for the quick six-day turnaround after going down to the Dragons by 33 goals.
"It was good to quickly put it in the past," she said.
"The girls were really keen to make amends and worked really hard and focused on keeping possession and basically doing the things we didn't do the previous week well.
"It was a good win and it was a good chance for Maddy and Kirby to get some work in together.
"The score didn't really reflect the game. It did blow out a bit in the end, but the girls on both sides worked very hard."
Kyneton was aided by a strong performance from goaler Claire Oakley, who will play a limited number of games for the Tigers this season in between duties for her Tasmanian Netball League (TNL) club Cavaliers, who are based in Launceston.
Rymer said the Bulldogs were eagerly looking forward to another test of strength this weekend against Castlemaine, which has returned to the A-grade competition for the first time since 2017 in impressive style, to post two-straight wins.
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