New Gisborne A-grade netball coach Kim Bailey is looking forward to her return to coaching at a local level.
Bailey, who has long been involved with local netball, was recently appointed the Bulldogs A-grade coach to lead them into this year’s Bendigo Netball League season.
It’s been three years since Bailey coached at a senior football-netball level. Her role as AFL Goldfields netball manager prevented her from doing so.
However, after resigning from AFL Goldfields and taking a role with Netball Victoria, it has allowed her to step back into coaching locally at a senior level.
Bailey has been coaching the ACU Sovereigns division 1 side in the Victorian Netball League and the Sunbury Lions under-17 team in the RDNL the last few years.
She said she was looking forward to the challenge.
“It’s nice to go into the league and start afresh,” she said. “Gisborne promotes within and look to have a lot of local talent. They have a very professional, structured program.
“I’m looking forward to going to a game and just coaching.”
Bailey said while she hadn’t coached or been involved in the Bendigo league, she had an idea of what to expect.
“Guy [Keane] coached the side last year and we’re coaching together at Sovereigns so there is still some connection,” she said.
“There’s lots of VNL players and Goldfields have played some interleague against them.
“I will have to get used to some of the other players.”
Bailey will coach just the A-grade side. Leesa Lord has been appointed A-reserve coach, Nathan Thompson will coach the B-grade team, Sharon Parfrey will coach the B-reserve side with Rylee Connell assisting her and Maddy Stewart will again coach the under-17s.
Bailey said it would be a similar line-up to last year, with the team having been selected before she was appointed.
“There’s some good young kids and I think it’ll be a young side with some leaders like Maddy Stewart,” she said. “The squad is finalised and pretty much like last year’s squad, there could be a little bit of movement.
“There’s some talented kids coming through.”
Bailey said she was keen to help the side take that next step and go through to a grand final.
Since winning the A-grade premiership in 2013, the Bulldogs have been thereabouts, being knocked out in the preliminary final three times and semi-final once.