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13 February 2020
By LOTTE REITER
While many clubs might consider a one-game win, bottom-ladder finish a frustrating season result, for Taylors Lake it was a positive sign the club was finally making headway on years of hard work and patience in its A Grade side.
Before a breakthrough defeat of Rupanyup in a Horsham District league round-12 game last year, the young Lakers had endured seven seasons without a win.
In 2016, the club failed to field an A Grade side entirely.
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In hopes of escaping the drought and building a more formidable team on court, a five-year growth and development plan came into focus, centered on nurturing junior-player talent and skill.
And, finally, the rain they were waiting for came.
A Grade coach Gab McCulloch said the win was a ‘lovely feeling’.
She said in the countdown to the 2020 season, and in the fourth year of the club’s five-year netball plan, focus would be on maintaining that momentum and stepping up her charges’ physical presence on court to secure a few more wins.
“It’s been a long-time coming,” she said.
“We tried for years to rely on people coming in from the outside for our success.
“But my view is that we already had success, it was just in our juniors.
“So, we have really been trying to nurture what we’ve got already and be patient and retain players. That was always our five-year plan.
“Now, half of the team has come out of under-17s and into full-time seniors, including key players Ella Slorach and Jorrdan Weir.
“These are girls who have won junior premierships before, so they know what is involved and what it takes.
“Hopefully, we can keep that up and a get a few more wins.
“Four wins this season for A Grade would be good.”
McCulloch said the club had already started training, including a recent personal training session that gathered ‘good numbers’.
She said the plan for the next six weeks was to have two training sessions a week to sharpen players’ general fitness and get their hands ‘back on the ball’.
She said once squads were selected, they would move in on team bonding.
“Usually we try to set our squads up early so we can get to that team bonding stage. But A Grade will be pretty much unchanged,” she said.
“There’ll be a big focus on team work, and getting the group to know each other.
“It’s okay to have weaknesses, as long as you and your team are aware of them and know how to work around them.
“I’m also always up for sportsmanship.
“They always need to be good sports, no matter what’s happening on the court.”
A Grade: Gab McCulloch
B Grade: Michelle Wilde
C Grade: Tammy McDonald
C Reserve: TBC
17 and under: Michelle Wilde
15 and under: Shae Campesato and Lyra Hadiak-Bob
13 and under: Sarah Campey
The entire February 12, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!