Millicent emerges as LCFNL netball benchmark

Millicent emerges as LCFNL netball benchmark


A quick glance at the Millicent squad for 2024 and it is not hard to install them as one of the benchmark teams for the inaugural Limestone Coast Football Netball League A Grade competition.

From the bookends of shooter Tabatha Sanderson and key defender Portia McRae to the class of goal attack Dei Verbena, to the athletic abilities of Lauren VanEeden and Edie Easterby and the hard running mid court that includes Lillie Paul, Lisa Duldig and Daisy Tunkin, the Saints do not appear to have a chink in their armour.

They also have Georgia Clarke returning from an ACL injury and her versatility only adds to the Saints’ depth.

It makes for a tough opening round for the Cats, despite being on their home court, but returning coach Jodie Humphries would no doubt have her own key performance indicators for the new look Casterton Sandford line-up.

Adding Chloe Finnigan and Holly Smith, both from Dartmoor, to the line-up increases depth for the Cats, with Smith able to make an impact at either end with her strength in the air a key feature.

The defensive skills of Caeleigh Humphries and Ebany Jarrad will be key, while Madeline Patton brings a great work ethic and smarts to the mid court.

As always, the Cats will rely heavily on the influence of Madalene Cleary, who literally can take any role on court and with the young shooting talent of Ivy Lane and Chelsea Hulm also at the coach’s disposal, Casterton Sandford will look to challenge the Saints.

Millicent will return back to South Australia with the premiership points.


The South Gambier-East Gambier clash looms as a tight contest with both sides having seen significant personnel changes.

South has Brandi Bouchier at the helm as coach and her biggest challenge this week is in the shooting circle given Alyssa Duncan has moved to Adelaide and Gracie Dalton is unavailable as she recovers from a serious illness.

New recruit Ash Widdison will need to step up and use her strength and timing on the move to fill that void, while at the other end much will depend on the sheer brilliance of Ellie Bouchier who will need to influence not just the defensive turnovers but be a key transition player through the mid court.

She will team with Mykaela Thiele, a consistent performer who has earned her crack at the A Grade goal keeper bib, while Sophie Wight, Tully McShane and Megan Reid make for a stable mid court that has been boosted by new-to-town Teresa Humphris, who brings speed, smarts and experience to the Demons’ centre court options.

East also has a new coach with Malinda Foster back at McDonald Park after a few seasons at Glencoe, and her long range shooting will complement Renee Henke and Casey Horrigan, who both boast great timing on the move.

The defensive end will again be tough to penetrate with Morgan Amy and Bo Creek teaming up, while the loss of Tarsh McCallum (injury) and Emily Neave (nee Hunter – pregnancy) will be strongly felt – not just their on court ability but their leadership.

Their absence will provide opportunity for other mid courters, including new recruit Kimberley Loughhead, who is back at the club where she honed her craft as a junior.

The toughest of the matches to tip given the significant unknowns about both line-ups but South to start the season with a close victory.


Clearly the match of the round as two clubs which will no doubt be in contention at the business end of the season go head-to-head – West Gambier and North Gambier.

Both have had to slightly tweak their line-ups with West Gambier choosing to re-train Mikaela Horrigan as a circle defender, as Jade Ritter takes a season off.

Horrigan’s athleticism and ability in the air will be a huge asset for the Roos, especially given she is alongside the premier goal defender in the competition Amy Cram.

At the other end, West Gambier has the potent shooting combination of Sarah Ritter and Lisa McGregor – the joint coaches of the 2024 Roos – so both ends of the court are well served.

The mid court has Tara Bryant, Zoe Malseed and the returning Jess Holmes so there is speed, tenacity and two way running in spades.

North Gambier has a new coach with former Penola coach Kaitlin Egan coming back to Tigerland and she will not only bring her tactical nous but her toughness on court, whether in the mid court or the defensive circle.

With Grace Potts and Macey Griffith set to combine in goals again and Stella Mobbs no doubt set to lock in her role anchoring the defensive end, the Tigers have plenty of weapons of their own.

Add to the class and Brianna Walters in the mid court, the versatility and leadership of Mel Renko and the injection of Kelly Lockwood, back after a stint in Adelaide, and the Tigers will challenge the Roos every step of the way but the home side should secure the points.

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