There’s a new City West Falcons team taking to the court.
With the Victorian Netball League season over for the year, a group of Falcons coaches and players has formed a mixed team, which is competing in the Victorian Men’s and Mixed Netball League.
Coaches Josh Smith and Matthew Blomeley came up with the idea to put a team into the state’s top mixed competition, and it quickly gained support from the Falcons’ players.
Smith is part of the Victorian men’s under-23 team, while Blomeley coaches the men’s under-23 state team.
Smith said the girls were excited by the opportunity to play mixed netball at a high level.
“It’s a premier competition for mixed netball and it’s great exposure at this environment for the girls, the game is much faster and you need to have good reaction times and it teaches the girls to move the ball faster,” he said.
“We identified it was a strong competition which is why we put a team in.”
Smith said the men, who all play in the men’s premier competition as well, would also benefit from playing a different sort of netball, with several Australian Netball League players part of the competition.
The Falcons team has a mixture of Falcons players from the club’s championship and under-19 divisions. Smith said they wanted to give some of the younger players, such as Maddie Gray, Anger Akec and Majar Hikuroa-Betham, the opportunity to play against older players.
“As I’m an under-19 coach I was keen to give some of those girls a chance,” he said.
“It’s good exposure for them, as a lot are older under-19 players and will be looking to go up grades,” he said.
Other Falcons players in the team include Jane Cook, Kath Knott, Maggie Lind, Maddy Balson, Emily Post and Victoria Honner.
The Falcons claimed their first win of the season on Wednesday, defeating Bayside Braves 50-48 in a thriller.
Smith said they were excited about what the season may bring.
“We had a loss to the team that finished second on the ladder last week in our first game. We went down by three goals.
“It should be so much fun in a great environment with a really great club.
“We’re hopeful that we can put our best out there. We’ll see how it goes.”