The 2021 Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara Netball Association season could be the year Penola gets the monkey off its back and rewrites the history books.
Last weekend the Eagles broke free from over three decades of pain to finally play a KNTNA grand final and coach Kaitlin Egan is determined to make sure the club lifts the trophy for the first time.
“It has been 32 years since we last made it, so it has been a long time coming,” she said.
“It is a huge achievement to just make and hopefully we can get the win.”
To make the grand final berth even sweeter, Penola defeated the same side which knocked Egan and her team mates out of the 2019 season, Lucindale in the preliminary final.
After the heartache of losing to the eventual premiers the Roos two years ago, the Eagles returned the favour winning the rematch by eight goals at Kingston last weekend.
Egan said the Eagles have been on an amazing journey since bowing out of the 2019 finals with the new faces adding a new complexion to the team following the departures of key players Sarah Lock, Emily Winter and Brooke Klemm.
“I mean after last season we lost 70% of our team and had to do a fair bit of recruiting and developing juniors,” she said.
“But we are lucky to have such good depth at the club even with myself and Jordyn Adams only playing six games.
“We have been very lucky to have Jordyn and her younger sister Siobhan has cemented herself into the starting seven.
“April Possingham has been enormous as along with Georgia Winter in the goals circle, while Maddy Teakle and Jordyn have combined really well at the defensive end.
“But we managed to pull it all together when we needed to and finished in the top three which is exciting considering where we were at the start of the year.”
Egan rolled her ankle in the dying stages of the Keith semi-final and has her “fingers crossed” to be fit and is “confident” to play in the huge contest this weekend.
She said overcoming the early nerves at the start will be crucial to overcome Keith, but believes excitement is the overriding emotion for her Eagles as they prepare to make history.
“Everyone is nervous because it will be a new experience for many players in the team,” she said.
“But there is more excitement because everyone knows winning would be phenomenal.”