New Rockbank coach Alan Watson is looking forward to returning to the Riddell District Netball League.

Watson, who coached Lancefield for several years before coaching Melton South in the Ballarat Netball League this year, was announced as the Rams’ new A-grade netball coach at the weekend.

Watson said moving to the Rams was the right fit for him.

“I spoke to someone who mentioned that Rockbank may have been looking for a new coach,” he said.

“I wanted to go back to the RDNL – it was better for me and I didn’t have to travel as far.

“I had association with someone at the club, so I’ve been watching them for a while.

“They had some success and want to build on that and that’s what I was looking for.”

Watson said he left Melton South on good terms, but the two parties were heading in different directions. He coached the club to seventh in the A-grade competition – its best result for a number of years.

Watson said he had been encouraged by conversations with the Rams about their focus on the netball program.

The Rams surprised everyone by making it to this year’s A-grade preliminary final, having made finals for the first time.

Three of their four teams made finals – which was also a first.

Watson said it was a good platform to build on for next season.

He said the majority of the senior side’s players would be returning, while he was likely to bring a few players with him who had played under him at Lancefield and Melton South.

The club would also hold trials to look for new players.

“They are investing in netball and I thought it was a good fit,” he said.

“I’ve been pleased to see the progress in the side and it’s a real good growth area.

“Everyone will start on equal ground. They’re happy for new players to come into the club as well.”

Watson said the club might lose some players from the lower grades as they followed former coach Lizzy Masterson to her new club, Melton Centrals, where she will be a specialist coach.

The club and Masterson parted ways towards the end of the season.

Watson, who will also coach the B-grade side, will take on a mentoring role to senior assistant coach Nathan Selvidge. Jacinta Fuzzy will coach the C-grade side, while Marie Bolitho will continue coaching the under-19s.

The Rams netball trials will be held on Sunday, November 11, at Ian Cowie Reserve from 11am-1pm.