FORMER national netball representative Ruth Mason has taken charge at Birregurra.
Mason, a former England under-21 schoolgirls representative and wife of ex-Birregurra footballer Justin Mason, will be the Saints’ A Grade playing coach this season.
Birregurra lost all of its A Grade players from last season but Mason said she was confident the Saints’ younger players would help take the club forward.
The 36-year-old premiership captain for Hertfordshire, a team in Stevenage north of London, is returning to the court after the birth of her son Archie.
Mason said she hoped to take a fresh set of ideas to Birregurra.
“There’s been a lot of people leave the past year so we are all starting from scratch,” she said.
“We have a lot of younger players who are really positive so with that young blood coming through we need to nourish that and look at how we can build their confidence.
“The pre-season stuff has been really encouraging, we hope we have an enjoyable season and it’s all about development.”
Mason said she planned to rotate players through the senior ranks to find the right mix of youth and experience.
“We need to be able to find that balance on the court with some of the more experienced players and give the young ones an opportunity as well,” she said.
“With the older girls I just want to get them all to enjoy their netball really; in my experience when you enjoy your netball you start winning games.”
The Saints play Otway Districts in their season opener at Birregurra Recreation Reserve tomorrow.
Mason said the competition for A Grade spots between Birregurra’s young players was intense.
In other opening-round matches,
South Colac and Western Eagles netball teams will test promising juniors, Irrewarra-Beeac supporters will have their first look at the Bombers’ new line-up when they meet Apollo Bay and Lorne might be light on for top players against powerhouse Simpson.
Colac Imperials, Alvie and Forrest have an opening-round bye.
For full previews see the current edition of the Colac Herald.