The upcoming June long weekend has been pencilled in the Western Border Netball Association’s diary for two years as it prepares to launch its title defence at the 2021 South Australian Country Championships.
The Senior side has a proud history playing against the state’s best at the representative competition in Adelaide with multiple trophies, while the Under 15 and 17 sides also arrive as defending champions.
But WBNA will write a new chapter in 2021 as for the first time it will field two junior sides in the 15 & Under and 13 & Under competitions with a development team riding shotgun to the championship team against the state’s best.
Teams split into two groups for Saturday’s competition with the leading sides progressing to Division 1, while the others fight in Division 2.
The Senior side boasts the biggest names in the WBNA, led by a host of players from ladderleader East Gambier.
Tyne Bosko (pictured), Lisa Fyfe, Tenille Gray, Emily Hunter and Tarsh McCallum create the strong Bulldogs flavour.
Paige and Hannah Nitschke maintain the mighty Millicent team presence, while West and South Gambier are represented by Jade Ritter and Imogen Walker respectively.
Gray, Walker and Paige Nitschke will line up as the three goalies and have been nurtured through the junior ranks of the WBNA representative system.
The revered WBNA Senior team will be coached by Millicent legend Donna Denton, who is eager to see the potential of her nine-player squad after just one training session.
“I think it is really exciting with a nice young group and four clubs represented,” she said.
“I am looking forward to seeing what they can deliver over a different two-day carnival format.
With an unexpected weekend off from the postponed Western Border round, the side will be raring to go with fresh legs.
In 2019, Western Border only just clinched the senior title after a thrilling three-goal win over Port Lincoln in the decider.
After such a long break, Denton believes every single association can contest the crown.
But she said the key to success is remaining focused on the players and game plan.
“I guess my focus at the country championships is only focusing on what you can put out on the court,” Denton said.
“Every team every year is different, so it is all about making sure we combine well and get off to a nice, consistent start.” For the first time in the storied history of the SA Country Championships, the A Grade will play a curtain raiser to the Adelaide Thunderbirds’ Suncorp Super Netball cash with the NSW Swifts.
Luckily enough the selected fixture for the much-wanted timeslot is a 2019 grand final rematch between Western Border and Port Lincoln.
The 17 and Under side searching for back-to- back titles will be coached by West Gambier’s Lisa McGregor, with all six clubs represented.
The respective championship and development 15 and Under sides are led by North pair Karen and Ellie Gould.
The leading 13 and Under team has another Tiger taking the helm in Rosie Collins, while South’s Di Gould coaches the second side.
SENIORS – Coach – Donna Denton (Millicent), players – Tyne Bosko (East Gambier), Lisa Fyfe (East Gambier), Tenille Gray (East Gambier), Emily Hunter (East Gambier), Tarsh McCallum (East Gambier), Hannah Nitschke (Millicent), Paige Nitschke (Millicent), Jade Ritter (West Gambier), Imogen Walker (South Gambier).
17&U – Coach Lisa McGregor (West Gambier), players – Amryn Bosko (East Gambier), Ellie Bouchier (South Gambier), Tara Bryant (West Gambier), Lucy Denton (Millicent), Alyssa Duncan (South Gambier), Caeleigh Humphries (Casterton Sandford), Paige Lucas (Millicent), Zoe Malseed (West Gambier), Portia McRae (Millicent), Sarah Ritter (West Gambier), emergencies – Olivia Dean (Millicent); Ebany Jarrad (Casterton Sandford); Lara Munro (South Gambier), Daisy Tunkin (Millicent).
15&U – WB1 – coach – Karen Gould (North Gambier), players – Leila Croker (West Gambier), Abby Denton (Millicent), Ella Easterby (Millicent), Macey Griffith (North Gambier), Annelise Janssen (Millicent), Stella Mobbs (North Gambier), Cara Nulty (North Gambier), Lillie Paul (Millicent), Chelsea Ryan (South Gambier), Lauren Van Eeden (Millicent).
15&U WB2 – Coach – Ellie Gould (North Gambier), players – Milly Allen (North Gambier), Phoebe Carlin (Casterton Sandford), Ava Collins (North Gambier), Indi Longhurst (Casterton Sandford), Imogen McGregor (West Gambier), Aleisha Pearson (West Gambier), Charlotte Scott (West Gambier), Lucy Simpson (West Gambier), Maya Tarrant (Millicent), Ellie Xanthopoulos (West Gambier), Emergencies – S.Maddison Harrold (South Gambier); Chelsea Hulm (Casterton Sandford), Sarah Richardson (Casterton Sandford).
13&U WB1 – Coach – Rosie Collins (North Gambier), players – Elodie Adam (North Gambier), Kelsie Anderson (North Gambier), Charlie Attiwill (South Gambier), Lily Brook (North Gambier), Maggie Collins (North Gambier), Sebella Coghlan (Millicent), Ella Jolley (West Gambier), Mylee Lynch (Millicent), Piper Paul (Millicent), Mikayla Pearson (West Gambier.
13&U WB2 – Di Gould (South Gambier), players – Brydie Carlin (Casterton Sandford), Hayley Cowie (West Gambier), Eva Crowe (Millicent), Raine Darimaani (North Gambier), Gracie Dalton (South Gambier), Ashlee Dean (Millicent), Emily Denton (Millicent), Mia Gysbers (Millicent), Katie Kerr (East Gambier), Ruby Milich (South Gambier), EMERGENCIES: Kalani Dunn (Millicent), Bree Ridding (South Gambier), Makayla Rees (Casterton Sandford).