Macedon has looked to strengthen its team after its disappointing exit from the Riddell District Netball League finals last season.

Having claimed the minor premiership, the Cats were knocked out of the finals in straight sets. They’ve since made a focus of adding more depth across the whole court.

Cats coach Ciara Stewart said they wanted to have different options available after being caught short last year.

Main goal attack Chloe Wilson was missing from both finals due to illness, and the Cats struggled to have their normal impact.

Stewart said the extra depth would also help when Victorian Netball League commitments meant players were on restrictions.

“Our lesson was learnt last year,” she said.

“We want every position filled with two or three players.

“We’ll have a good solid side no matter who is on the court.”

The Cats have looked to add some experienced players to the line-up. Former Diggers Rest coach Amy Carroll is the biggest signing.

The goaler shared last year’s Ryan Medal for the best player in the competition and has been a standout in her time in the competition.

Stewart said having Carroll was a huge win for the team.

Karlee De Bono, who played a few games last season, is now a permanent player while Tayissa Coppinger and Caitlyn Alifraco both come to the club with Victorian Netball League experience. Coppinger will add to the defensive end, while Alifraco will add another element to the midcourt.

Stewart said Chelsea Kemp, who was no longer playing VNL, had really matured and looked like taking her game to the next level.

She said there was a good atmosphere at the club, with all the new recruits settling in well. The Cats have lost just two players. Young goaler Tara Burnip has joined Woodend-Hesket, while Tayla Hardiman is taking the year off.

Stewart said with the added players it would give her more opportunity to coach from the sidelines and focus on other elements of the game.

“We’ve been training since December and then started back in January,” she said.

“Everyone has been playing for the Comets [weeknight team] on a Tuesday, which is another bonus.”

The Cats start their season on Saturday against Riddell. Sunbury Kangaroos and Rupertswood, Woodend-Hesket and Lancefield, Broadford and Wallan, Melton Centrals and Rockbank and Romsey and Diggers Rest round out the rest of the round one matches to be played over two weekends.

 

Tara Murray