Melton South begins preparations for 2022

Coach Anna Edmonds. Pic: Shawn Smits

Sarah Oliver

Melton South are starting their preparations for the 2022 Ballarat Netball League season with trials happening over the coming weeks.

The Panthers A-grade team made an impressive comeback this year after no play in 2020, sitting second on the ladder when the season was called off.

Even prior to the difficulties posed by COVID, the Panthers were struggling, finishing seventh in 2019 and 2018, with courts barely touched in 2020.

Coach Anna Edmonds said they’ll be preparing their bodies and minds coming out of COVID times.

“It’s all about the preparation because coming out of COVID, our bodies aren’t prepared for the demands of netball,” Edmonds said.

“We take each week as it comes, we really try and stick to our game play and what we are good at.”

Edmonds also said preparing mentally is important for the women, which is something they did well this year.

“It’s a matter of just communicating how you’re feeling,” she said.

“We had a good system, if someone wasn’t feeling up to it they could just say it and we would fill that gap.”

Edmonds said she’s hopeful the core of players will return for next season and that the A-grade team was “quite cohesive”.

To improve, Edmonds said she wants to focus on momentum.

“We tend to start really strong, then we tend to have lulls in our games which tends to let the opposition in. A lot of the draws we probably would have won.”

But the lulls didn’t stop the Panthers from getting back up.

“We all wanted to get out there and just be competitive because we knew we had a good standing on the ladder.

“We’ve all got unfinished business that we feel we could take care of next year.”

Trials for all grades will start December 7 and run until December 11.

Edmonds said they’ll be looking for a variety of things, but mostly where they can match players based on their skill level.

“Hopefully we’ll have a bit more [interest] because we did have such a great season,” she said.

Edmonds said the club has a lot of motivation going into next year.