Coppinger new Hawks coach

Ty Coppinger (Ljubica Vrankovic) 360896_07

Tara Murray

Woodend-Hesket didn’t have to go far to find a new coach for next year’s Riddell District Netball League season.

With premiership winning coach and star defender Meg Grbac moving interstate, the Hawks have turned to another key defender to take on the coaching role.

One of the stars of the competition, Ty Coppinger will step into the role in what has been a smooth transition.

“It is really exciting,” Coppinger said. “After the year we had not just in A-grade but across the whole club it has been a really positive year.

“It’s really exciting to move forward.”

Coppinger said they had a really tight knit group and there was no hesitation in her taking on the coaching role.

She said Grbac would only be a phone call away and remained close with the playing group as they looked to move forward.

“I’ve coached in other footy-netball leagues before,” she said.

“I’ve played in the Riddell league for the last few years and now the opportunity [to coach] has come up and it’s a great club to be part of.

“I wouldn’t have stepped up if I didn’t think it was right. There’s a great culture and I didn’t hesitate.”

Coming off their first A-grade premiership, Coppinger said there was still plenty of excitement and motivation in the playing group.

Trials for next season are already underway.

“I think there is lots of excitement and more room to improve,” she said. “Not only in A-grade but the whole club.

“We’ve hit the ground running. We finish trials next Thursday and look into training. So far everyone is eager to get back into it. Everyone wants to get back together, the hype is still there.”

The coaching appointment caps off a few big months for Coppinger.

She was awarded the best on court medal in the premiership winning, before finishing in a three-way tie with Riddell’s Ellen Close and Wallan’s Gemma Grimmond for the Ryan Medal, the best player in the RDNL.

It’s the second straight year she has won the Ryan Medal.

Coppinger, who was overseas when the league best and fairest awards night was held, said she was shocked to claim the medal.

“To be honest, it’s nice to win an individual award, but I think it means more to be part of the team I’m in with such quality players in the team and across the competition.

“I didn’t think it would be something I would be receiving.”

Coppinger said she doesn’t compare her performance across seasons, just focusing on the task in front of her each week.

“You just play your role in that moment,” she said. “Anything else that comes along is a bonus.

“You are part of a team and I play for the team rather the individual.”