Hawks on the hunt for new players

Carly Arkinstall. Picture supplied

Tara Murray

Woodend-Hesket netballers have returned to the court with a jump in their step after a season of no netball.

Riddell District Netball League was cancelled due to COVID-19, leaving netballers on the sidelines for much of 2020.

However with restrictions easing, the Hawks are training in preparation for next season, under Carly Arkinstall.

Arkinstall was appointed the Hawks head coach for the 2020 season before being reappointed for next year.

Arkinstall is looking forward to having a full pre-season with the group.

“We had 12 girls at the first session and there were four new faces, which was really great to start with,” she said.

“It was great to see them and hopefully we’ll have a few more at training over the coming weeks.

“Coming in late for this year, in terms of trials and preparation, wasn’t ideal.

“It’s now a really great chance to get to know them and understand where the gaps are and be productive in sourcing other players.”

Arkinstall said a number of players who were due to play in 2020 are set to return.

A few of the girls who had been playing under-19s and A-grade, led by Sarah Duff, would now only play A-grade which should benefit the team.

Arkinstall said they had a few things in the pipeline in terms of possible new players.

“Things are moving faster than we thought and there’s some exciting leads with respect to strong players coming out of the Victorian Netball League and interstate leagues.

“It’s some really strong interest.”

Arkinstall said they were still looking for other players who might be interested in joining the club and invited prospective new players to join a training session.

The Hawks coaching panel remains the same with Anne-Louise Lindner coaching the C-grade side and Kellie Duff coaching the under-19s.

Arkinstall said they were set to have a strong under-19 team which is hoping to claim its first premiership.

Rupertswood, which has won every under-19 premiership previously, is no longer in the competition, opening the door for the Hawks.

“Kellie is really happy with our under-19s,” Arkinstall said. “They will be fairly strong.”

The teams are training on Thursday nights at Buffalo Stadium in Woodend.

Anyone interested in joining the Hawks netball program can contact Kellie at dktduff@hotmail.com.