Last Wednesday night Doncaster & Districts went head-to-head in two grand final matches against rivals, St Therese, in both the 17/U Men’s and 19/U Mixed divisions.
Doncaster & Districts came away with two gold medals, yet for both teams coming away with the win wasn’t an easy task.
The 17/U Men’s coach, Alexia McConnell, was thrilled with the grand final win, although she said it wasn’t the team’s best performance.
“We came away with the win, which is important, but it wasn’t the best game we had played over the season,” McConnell said.
With the junior competition running for only its second season this year, McConnell was excited to combine both the junior and senior men at their weekly training sessions to help prepare for the season ahead.
“Most of the senior boys within the club play for the state team, which has been great for our junior players to help them learn their craft.”
With only one loss for the season leading into the grand final, McConnell said the team was feeling good heading into the game.
“With only one loss for the season, as a whole, we were quite confident, but you’ve got to stay humble, otherwise things can go pear-shaped.”
Following the six-point win over St Therese, young gun Zac Giliam was awarded season MVP. Having come from a basketball and football background, this season marked his first year of competitive netball.
“Zac is absolutely stunning as a goal defence. He has a great build for this position, as well as a great attitude. He has also just trialed for our men’s state team, where I’m sure he’ll be successful,” McConnell said.
The 19/U mixed side also had a successful road to finals where they remained undefeated for the entire season.
Craig Moore, who has been coaching for Doncaster & Districts for the last seven and a half years, was able to hand pick his gold winning side.
“Some of the girls in the team I’ve coached for the last three years, and boys who I had been involved with through various state programs.”
With no formal training sessions, the team came together and met each other for the first time in round one of the competition.
“They really gelled well on and off the court, catching up socially outside of playing which was nice to see. It all came together quite smoothly which is what you want.”
With St Therese being the team that challenged the Doncaster & Districts side the most, Moore knew that the opposition had a point to prove.
“It was tight the whole game, and in the third quarter we were down by 3 goals, so I had to make a few positional changes, which paid off in the last.”
The nail biting five-point win over St Therese saw Doncaster & Districts defender, Jake Novak, come away with the seasons MVP award for the junior mixed division.
“Jake was a consistent player. He’s quite a tall strong body so its hard to get around him or out rebound him, so he was definitely worthy of the MVP for the season,” Moore said.
Following this successful campaign for Doncaster & Districts the boys will now focus on the various state programs, where the first trial began on Sunday, and for the girls, the representative program continues to run every Tuesday night in Parkville.
To find out more information about the Men’s league, head here.
17 & UNDER MEN’S:
Doncaster & Districts defeated St Therese 27-21
Grand Final MVP: Bodhi Stringer (St Therese)
Season MVP: Zac Giliam (Doncaster) & Tristan Comans (St Therese)
19 & UNDER MIXED:
Doncaster & Districts defeated St Therese 36-31
Grand Final MVP: Brielle Smith (St Therese)
Male Season MVP: Jake Novak (Doncaster)
Female Season MVP: Jess McLaren (Doncaster)