Craske wants to set the culture

AJ Craske (Supplied)

Tara Murray

Inaugural Gisborne Giants netball director and A-grade coach AJ Craske is keen to build a sustainable long term program in the region.

Craske was last week announced as the Giants A-grade coach as the club prepares to field all netball sides in the Riddell District Netball League next year.

Craske said he was excited to have the chance to help form the program.

“It’s exciting, especially considering the leap forward for the Giants to have a full senior program,” he said.

“I bring 10 years of experience to this role and I want to bring in a whole club approach, both seniors and juniors.

“We want to start things at senior level and have them flow through to junior level and have a clear pathway.”

Craske brings plenty of experience to the role.

He currently holds a development level Netball Australia coaching accreditation, while his roles include coaching Caroline Springs in the Western Netball League, Parkville open representative coach, Elmer region pens coach, Strathmore Netball Club coach at multiple age levels, and is actively involved in the Victorian Netball League through his two daughters.

Craske has some idea of the RDNL as well.

“My daughter played our there for a couple of seasons,” he said. “I’m familiar with the league a little bit.

“But I guess I come in fresh and there’s no preconceived ideas. No doubt we will build over time.”

Craske said he would look to bring some talent into the club, but his first focus was on making sure local talent would get their opportunities.

He said with the new facility and that being in the RDNL they wouldn’t have to travel as far to play.

“It’s about finding that balance,” he said. “We’ll certainly be looking at local talent and we’ll have some strong trials.

“I’ll look to leverage my connections that I have in the community. There’s significant opportunity within the RDNL for players to come through with their netball journey.

“A big selling point is not having to travel as far.”

Craske said he already had a few players on his radar who he would like to have part of his first team.

He said the first step was to get the message out there that they’re looking to have a full range of sides.

“We want to get the program up and running and build a core group of player and build that A-grade side.

“We’re not just focusing on the A-grade side. We want to set the culture and standards, it’s really exciting.”