Rupertswood coach hopes for a change of luck

Stacey Northey returns for Rupertswood. Picture Wayne Hawkins

Rupertswood hopes another year of experience and a couple of handy additions can help them take the next step in the Riddell District Netball League.

The Sharks have finished in the top two after the regular season for the past two years and at their best can beat or go close to every team in the competition.

But for all that, they have only one finals win to show for it.

Sharks coach Di McCormack is hoping for change of luck this year having kept most of the players from the last two years.

She said Rupertswood had the team to go all the way but it was about getting over the hurdles to the grand final.

Star goalshooter Stacey Northey returns to the club after missing last year with a knee injury sustained in the RDNL finals in 2014, when she was named in the league’s team of the year.

“She has been training and her fitness is really good,” McCormack said.

“We’re not sure she’ll play every game because of [state league] commitments, but we’re thrilled to have her back in the side.”

Northey will be joined at the shooting end by Alex Maher and Amy Starzer.

“Amy stepped up as a player and really impressed me with her maturity in the final against Riddell,” McCormack said.

“Alex has been working hard in the offseason and has been offered a championship division role at Peninsula this season.”

Northey will replace Lucy Batina in the A‐grade line‐up. Batina is set to play in the B‐grade side to allow her to also do physio work with the footballers.

The defensive end could look a little different with McCormack unsure on a couple of players.

McCormack said it wasn’t clear whether Kirsten Daley would return.

Katie Clarke has returned to the court after a year off to have a baby, but a decision on whether she will play in A or B grade is still to be decided.

Clarke, who coached the under‐19s premiers last season, will coach them and the C‐grade teams this year.

McCormack said the A‐grade side would have a similar midcourt line up to last season.

The young combination of Sid Moore, Ailish McCormack, Maddi Gay, Sara Febbo and Ebony Lyons would all return and Emily Ktona, who played several games in A‐grade last season, will play permanently in the top team.

“Em could have quite easily been in the A‐grade team last season but we just had too many players,” McCormack said.