Craigieburn Eagles are keen to keep their stay in Big V women’s division 2 a short one.
The Eagles struggled last season in division 1 and were ultimately relegated after finishing on the bottom, with three wins for the season.
Eagles’ assistant coach and senior player Kellie Bailey-Lynn said while it was disappointing to go down a division, their focus had quickly turned to the season at hand.
“To go back up is the aim for us,” she said. “Going straight back up has been done before … we’re not just there for a run, we want to do our best and try and take it out.”
The Eagles managed to maintain most of last season’s playing squad, except for two big outs. Nicole Cameron returned to Whittlesea Pacers to play division 1 basketball, while Natalie Stewart retired.
Bailey-Lynn, who has two young children, put off retirement for another season after her husband convinced her to play on.
Rod Sweeney will again coach the side.
Bailey-Lynn said the processes they had followed the past couple of years, of putting effort into developing young players, would continue.
“We look a little different from last year,” she said. “We’ve included some players who were juniors at the club and have come back, and we’ve also looked to add some of the youth league girls.
“We want to build a strong base … we’re doing the right things by the juniors and the youth girls program.”
Former Eagles’ junior Rachael Butler and Kristen McNamara have returned and will be part of the Eagles women’s side this season, alongside Paige Campbell, who joins sister Maddison.
Nicola Stewart has been promoted from youth league after a standout season.
“We’ve been trying to do that the last couple of seasons,” Bailey-Lynn said.
“We had Bec Hassell come up last year and Emma Pullen is another who has [come up a level].
“We’re hoping to be able to do the same thing.”
The Big V season kicks off next month, with both Eagles senior sides playing in division 2.