Despite going through the A-Grade season without notching a win, major steps forward were made for Stawell’s netball teams.
The Warriors had four out of six teams qualify for the Wimmera Netball Association finals, with one just side finishing just one place away from a finals berth.
The club notched three finals victories from the teams that qualified, with its 13 and under side progressing all the way through to Saturday’s grand final.
The promising thing for Stawell is the development of its younger players, with all three junior sides playing finals netball.
Stawell netball sub-committee member and A Grade team manager Colene Matthews said this season has been a good experience for the club’s younger players.
“Our poor A-Graders didn’t end up getting a win but it wasn’t due to a lack of trying or training or anything like that. Sometimes that is just how the card fall and it was just one of those years unfortunately,” she said.
“We had two girls that could have played under 17’s and one from under 15’s step up to the A Grade team during the season so there has been a big variance in age.”
The season was full of highlights for Stawell’s netballers of all ages and teams.
Club stalwart Tracey Dark played her 400th game for the club in May while 13 and under netballers Madi Taylor and Molly Orr had the shared the unique experience of tying for the league’s best and fairest award despite playing on the same team.
Stawell’s ‘mods’ program for netballers too young to play in the 13 and under side continued to develop as well, with a number of girls having participated in the program in previous years beginning to make their way through the junior program. Matthews said it has been great seeing the club retain players as well as introduce new ones. “We have had quite a few new families to the club and netball in particular this year,” she said. Stawell will look towards maintaining its junior success while also building on its senior ranks for the 2018 season.