By Tricia Mifsud
With the grading of the netball sides in the Northern Football Netball League completed earlier in May, Kilmore was successful in having seven teams entered in various sections and is now settling into the season after playing two rounds.
The inclusion of seven teams was testament to committee members Lisa Mandanici and Kristy Fowler, who saw where the club was lacking compared to other sides.
Since joining forces, Mandanici said she was proud of the work she and Fowler had achieved.
“When I took over in 2018, there were only two teams. So Kristy and I looked at what the area was that needed attention, and that was a flow-on from the under 15s,” she said.
“The overall result now is that we’ve grown so much. We could even expand next season depending on whether we can secure more coaches.
“[Kristy and I] work strongly together as a team as well as the three additional coaches to mentor, coach and develop our players.”
Now with seven teams, the club intends to mix sides with both older and younger players to ensure it gets the best out of each of the players.
“We’re big on making sure older players are mixed with the younger players so older players stand up and mentor,” Mandanici said.
This style of team selection has proven successful, with Kilmore 3, 4, 5 and 6 teams all finishing atop the ladder of their sections after round two, Kilmore 1 in third, Kilmore 2 in fourth and Kilmore 7 in fifth.
Despite many young athletes being eager to return to sport following COVID-19 restrictions, Mandanici said last year’s lockdowns had nothing to do with the club’s growth.
“COVID has had nothing to do with the growth of the club. We structured really well before COVID and through word of mouth and people knowing the club was expanding, we have been able to be as successful as we have been,” she said.
Kilmore Football Netball Club’s netball teams play their matches on Friday nights at the La Trobe University Sports Stadium indoor courts, RMIT University netball courts and at various locations at Mernda.
Kilmore Netball Club 2021 sections:Kilmore 1, section four; Kilmore 2, section six; Kilmore 3, section seven; Kilmore 4, section nine; Kilmore 5, section 10; Kilmore 6, section 11; Kilmore 7, section 13.