PIMPINIO are quietly building a winning culture with a focus on youth development, as five teams across all grades made finals in 2021.
In a remarkable showing in a disrupted year, both the Tigers' Under-13 and Under-15 sides finished on top, while the Under-17s came second on the ladder, and both C and C Reserve sides finished fifth
A Grade coach Renee Clarkson said it was this focus on development that allowed Pimpinio enjoy a relatively successful year, given the circumstances.
"The season was pretty tough on all of our players, but to take anything away from it was the success of our juniors," Clarkson said.
Clarkson said that not only did Pimpinio's junior sides have successful campaigns in their own right, but injuries to senior players meant that younger players had to step up.
"We had four ACL's, we had torn calves. We were just decimated by injuries across the senior club teams. We had already allocated a lot of juniors to play in our senior teams. And then we had injuries to senior players so we had to use more," she said.
"They just rose to the challenge and showed how talented they are. When they joined our senior players, as a group everyone was just such a pleasure to coach.
"I've always been really focused on our junior development. We have some pretty yet we have some successful junior teams and some fantastic junior coaches.
"We're just trying to really focus on that and bring new kids up through the ranks, but also give our juniors the opportunity to play senior netball."
Clarkson said the opportunity to play senior sides was a benefit to developing players.
"They're already talented, but I think playing senior netball has really helped their game as well. And they show a real maturity in their, um, in the way that they play," she said.
"We had some losses, but they really had fun. We were just trying to enjoy and as best we could under the circumstances."
Clarkson had nothing but praise for the quality of opposition Pimpinio faced in a tough season, the highlight of which was a scrappy draw against Rupanyup in round five that left the crowd stunned.
Pimpinio had been behind at every major break, but they couldn't be shaken and held on to grab the two points.
"Some of the teams around at the moment are playing phenomenal netball. While it was really hard to lose to some of those teams by so much, to watch the way they play was just amazing," she said.
Enjoyment of the game was paramount for Clarkson, especially after a year off in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"With such a disrupted season this year and potentially no finals shows how much you have to play netball first and foremost. If you're not there for fun and you're there just to win, you're not going to get that in seasons like this where we may not even have finals," she said.
"You've got to have fun. You've got to enjoy netball and be there for the right reasons... (the Tigers) are having fun with each other.
"The dedication and commitment was there now we've just got to try and recruit well to build on what we've already got."
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