Lions ready to pounce

Rebecca Hicks. (Ljubica Vrankovic) 413382_15

Tara Murray

The Sunbury Lions are set to receive some welcome boosts in the back part of the Ballarat Netball League season.

The Lions sit second on the ladder with two losses for the season, but for much of the season have had players in and out of the side.

Lions coach Kim Bailey said they would have taken the season so far at the start of the season.

“If you had told me at the start of the season we would have the injuries and unavailability we’ve had, I might have panicked,” she said.

“With Lani [Fauonuku] being unavailable we’ve been able to understand how Bec [Hicks] plays and fits in the structure.

“Her and Tara [O’Grady] are working well together. It’ll be nice to have everyone back and be able to some changes and have options instead of a set team every week.”

Bailey said she was unsure when captain Tayla Honey would be back, but they were hoping to have her on the court for finals.

One positive to come out of players missing games, is showing the depth they have at the club.

“Sarah Croft has played in the centre position with Simona Di Filippo when they probably hadn’t though that would happen this season.

“Mackenzie Wood and Emily Conn have come up from B-grade and done a fantastic job. They are both local girls and it’s good to see them out there.

“In the region there’s some quality netballers. Macca is still in under-19s and she will be a permanent fixture in A-grade in years to come.

“We want to have that successful pathway into the A-grade team. We want to show the pathway through the grades.”

There was a competition wide bye on the weekend due to interleague.

Bailey said it came at a perfect time for them.

“We have Lani at the under-17 national camp and Bec Hicks has been sick,” she said.

“Tayla is still not back and Ruth [Smith] is on her honeymoon. There’s been a lot in the VNL [Victorian Netball League and there’s a lot of tired bodies.

“There’s no VNL this weekend, so the girls will be nice and rested for Redan.”

The Lions face Melton this week before playing Redan the following week.

They then have a tough run home when they face both top side Darley and top four side Melton South in the run home.