The Wilson Storage Southern Saints powered through the 2018 Bupa Victorian Netball League season, despite suffering from many challenges throughout the year.
The young club was riddled with injuries, which required junior players to step up to higher grades and compete against veteran netballers.
Regardless of the hurdle, the three Southern Saints teams upheld a solid standard of netball consistently across the season. Their Championship and Division One line-ups both finished eighth on the ladder, while their 19/U squad finished at ninth.
These final ladder positions do not accurately reflect the talent and strength the Southern Saints have brought to the court.
The promotion of junior players was initially challenging for the club, however they have reaped the rewards as Championship coach Jade Heinrich has crafted critical young talent who will lead the club to success in future years. Goal Shooter Samantha Silvester and Goal Defender Kirsty Clark, who, despite their minimal experience on the Bupa VNL court, have developed into leading players for the Southern Saints.
Heinrich is confident that the Saints will improve on 2018’s results, after a rebuilding of the club structure and playing group.
“Moving forward, we are confident that the three teams will improve on this year’s results,” Heinrich said.
“We are aiming for top four, and we have good signs already with who we have kept from this year”.
“We have a core group of players who we have built in the last two years. They are super exciting.”
Meanwhile, Southern Saints intend to scout new talent at trials to fill the few gaps in their teams.
“We are keen to see what is out there for players who haven’t been playing VNL, and we try to provide opportunities where we can”, Heinrich said.
With a coaching panel known for their passion, knowledge, and ability to craft young players into versatile athletes, Southern Saints are set for a competitive 2019 season.
“The VNL is definitely a crucial pathway, especially for the young players to get a taste for high level netball”, Heinrich observes.
Heinrich, who has been involved in the VNL as both a player and a coach sees how to competition continues to evolve since its inaugural year, catering for the high quality of Victorian athletes.
“The competition gets stronger and stronger”, Heinrich said.
“I can’t wait to see what happens in the next twelve months.”