New Riddell coach Emily Ktona is excited to return to the Riddell District Netball League after a number of years away.
Ktona, who spent a number of seasons with Rupertswood as a player, was named as the Bombers coach, replacing Beck Anstey.
Ktona said she’s excited for the new challenge.
“It is exciting to be back in the league as well,” she said. “I haven’t been involved since playing at Rupertswood so I’m excited to be back.
“I think for me the most exciting thing is the Riddell league, is the atmosphere. I’m so excited to be back again.”
Ktona, who has coached since she was 12, said she was keen to coach at a higher level and this was a really good opportunity.
She said she already knew a lot of the players, having coached some of them, while playing with and against others.
“This is a higher level than what I was doing,” she said. “I coach two open teams down in Melbourne.
“There’s a lot of experienced girls and a lot of VNL [Victorian Netball League] girls and we play against VNL level players. It’s a super talented league.
“It’s a great opportunity to coach these girls.”
Ktona said it was a little weird to be in Bombers colours now, with the Bombers and Rupertswood having a strong rivalry when she played, but was ready for the new challenge.
She takes on a side that is coming off a grand final appearance, having lost to Woodend-Hesket in overtime.
“It’s a super young and talented side that can go a lot further with their netball,” she said.
“There is a bit of pressure on me to live up to the work Beck has done. I played with her at Rupo and against her on Wednesday nights.
“It was a massive job with Loz [Lauren Close] and everyone else at the club.
“The aim is to go one step further and go further with all the sides.”
Ktona will be supported by former Bombers head coaches Eliza Allen and Lauren Close.
She said was looking forward to working with both of them.
“I’ve known Eliza for a long time,” she said. “She coached me in interleague when I was 14 and coached me at regional squad.
“I coach her young girl and know it’s a full circle with me back at Riddell.
“Lauren is an icon of the league and it’s so exciting to have their support.”
The Bombers have announced a number of signings from their grand final team with Fionnuala McKeagney-Stubbs, Xara Burge, Ruby Shannon, Shelby Holter and Ellen Close all recommitting.
Ktona said she hadn’t made a decision whether she would play or not but didn’t rule out putting on the dress.