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    Ava Koschitzke in action for Warrack Eagles last season.

2024 WFNL COUNTDOWN: New leaders, new ideas

By Abby Walter

Team and player development is a focus for Warrack Eagles heading into the 2024 Wimmera league senior netball season.

The A Grade team will play under new leadership this year with Leiah McKenzie and Jess Erhardt taking on the coaching role together.

McKenzie said it would be her first A Grade coaching gig in Wimmera league.

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“Jess and I are co-coaching, and she is also our 17-and-under coach, so it works well with us moving juniors through into senior teams and working hard on their development,” she said.

“I am really excited about the season ahead.

“Warrack Eagles is the club I grew up playing at, so I am excited to bring a different style and new game plans to our team.

“I am also looking forward to being able to boost our juniors to get them looking good for future years ahead.”

McKenzie said training to date was operating well with great numbers on the track for all grades.

“We have done our trials and our teams have been selected, so now we’re really going to ramp up and hit preseason hard before the season starts,” she said.

“We have a practice match coming up against Wycheproof and we’ll have some intra-club practice matches as well before round one.”

The Eagles drew with Stawell last season and won one game against Minyip-Murtoa in round 18, finishing at the bottom of the ladder.

Last year’s Eagles captain and best-and-fairest winner Briodi McKenzie will not take the court in maroon-and-gold this season, however, the majority of the senior team will remain similar to 2023.

The Eagles coach said losing McKenzie was a big out, but the team had gained some juniors moving into the senior ranks to bolster the squad.

“Our juniors have really stepped up this year and we have a few who have come up out of junior teams into senior teams, which is really exciting,” she said.

“It’s good to see how those juniors have progressed in their netball.

“Apart from those small changes we have stayed pretty steady, which is nice moving into a new season.” McKenzie said her goal was to improve on last year and develop junior players.

She said she wanted to foster a strong team bond, which would translate to strong performances on court.

“Week-in and week-out, we want to work together and win some more games, which would be nice,” McKenzie said.

“We’re looking forward to the season and giving it a red-hot crack in 2024.”

The Eagles will face the newest kids on the block in round one, travelling to Jeparit to play against the newly-amalgamated Southern Mallee Thunder.



A Grade: Leiah McKenzie and Jess Erhardt

B Grade:  Rikki Nitschke

C Grade:  Kirrilee Rowe and Mikayla Annett

C Reserve: Kirrilee Rowe and Mikayla Annett

17-and-under: Jess Erhardt

15-and-under: Brooke Holland and Jonti George

13-and-under: Bonnie Gunn

NetSetGo: Sarah Spicer and Kristy Holland


The entire March 20, 2024 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!