Gisborne has added some more depth as it tries to maintain its spot as one of the premier sides in the Bendigo Netball League.
Coming off a grand final defeat in overtime, the Bulldogs have the same core group that they had last year.
While they’ve lost Rachel Mackenzie, who has returned to her old club, and Melinda Luke, who has joined Riddell in the Riddell District Netball League, Bulldogs coach Kim Bailey said they had put together a really good squad.
She said they had added three players to team which would give them a bit more flexibility and depth.
“We’ve had final selections and had a couple of sessions,” she said.
“We’ve already got quality players like Tarryn Rymer, Maddy Stewart, Berta [Ella Bertacchini]… Tiana Newman is a rocket in the mid court.
“We’ve got some good depth this year, we didn’t have a lot of options last year.”
Emerson Lakey has been promoted into the A-grade side, with Bailey saying they were keen to continue to bring players through the system.
Lily Walsh, who comes with VNL experience, will replace Melinda Luke in the defensive end, while Freya Langston will add mid court depth.
Langston is another with VNL experience, having worked with Bailey at the ACU Sovereigns. She is now playing with Melbourne University.
“We’re happy with who we’re replaced the other players with,” Bailey said.
Bailey said with several players involved in the Victorian Netball League, that players from lower grades would again get opportunities at times as well.
In a bonus for the Bulldogs and the rest of the competition, the VNL finals won’t coincide with the Bendigo competition finals like last year.
Bailey, in her second season as coach, said they had started to work on some areas that had let them down in the grand final.
“We played really well in that last quarter to get back into the game, but we were spent come overtime.
“We were disappointed last year and it is something to work .We need consistency across all four quarters.
“We need a bit more structure and composure.”
The Bulldogs A-grade side has a bye in round one due to Castlemaine not having a team. All the other grades will start that weekend, with the A-grade side starting the following week.