Sport

Tongala ready for finals challenge

By Brayden May

BY THEIR own admission, Tongala exceeded expectations after narrowly missing finals in 2019.

But now they want more.

With Tongala’s young talent having taken their first steps into senior netball, new coach Paige Wade has recruited strongly to accelerate her team’s development.

Echuca United premiership player Amelia Brock is the headline inclusion, while Olivia Taverna and Georgia Watt have crossed from Moama and Kyabram respectively.

While there has also been some change from within with Tracey Hughes returning to the court following a year off, while Rose Hammond will make the step up from the under 17s.

Wade is looking forward to the season getting underway.

“There’s a good feeling among our group at the moment,” she said.

“The level of training has been really good, but everyone just can’t wait to get out on the court in an actual game situation.

“I think the talent we’ve brought in complements what we already had. The experienced girls will certainly make a big difference for our younger players.”

With so many new faces within the ranks, Wade said it had been important to spend as much time together on court as possible.

“We’ve been playing in a competition in Kyabram which has gone for five weeks and that’s been really beneficial,” she said.

“Practice matches in the lead up to round one will be good for working out some of our combinations and best line ups.”

While other sides may outline what their goals are for the season, Wade wants her team to enter the season with an open mind.

“Like everyone we want to be playing finals but that is the last thing we can think about,” she said.

“During pre-season it’s hard to work out where you sit as a team because you aren’t always aware of where other teams may have strengthened or weakened.

“But I’m confident with our level of talent we will be able to push the best teams in the Murray League.”