Beck O'Connell talks to coach Matt Koers about his return to Myrtleford.
BO'C: Myrtleford has had a round one loss to North Albury and a win last week, how are you feeling about the season so far coming back as coach?
MK: I coached a long time ago at Myrtleford and I've had a bit of a break, but it's good to come back. Like you said, a narrow loss to North Albury at their home ground. We're in a rebuilding phase, so with a first round loss but second round win, where going along ok. Like I said, we're in a rebuilding stage, so we're not unhappy with where we're at at the moment.
BO'C: What are some things that you've implemented this year in regards to rebuilding and getting the girls back up the ladder?
MK: We've got a strong emphasis on attacking defence. We haven't got a tall side, so I want to make sure the players on the court are always putting pressure on the opposition with strong defence, and if we turn the ball over, a strong attack to take the ball down the court. We want to keep the court open, keep the game flowing and keep possession when we need to, and turn it over for a goal.
BO'C: You've had a couple of losses from last year's team, have you got any new players that we should be keeping an eye out for?
MK: Not new recruits so much, but we have very young sides in both A-grade and B-grade. I'm coaching both teams. We're not big on height, but there's some really good, encouraging talent coming through. We have a three year plan. We're into the second game of year one of that plan, but the signs are promising. The girls are dedicated, they train hard, they're fit, they're keen and they want to learn, so there's nothing that can't be fixed going forward.
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BO'C: Having a plan in place and looking to the future, what do you think are some realistic goals for 2019?
MK: To get the girls established in playing in a team environment and structure that we're looking for, aggressive defence and attack. Playing as a team with seven defenders and seven attackers to keep the ball moving. With the players that I've got, I think it will suit their style. At this stage, it's going along ok. There will be times when we need to tweak that and change our play. There's so many strong teams in the competition and I haven't seen them all yet obviously. It's such a strong competition, so the girls have to work hard.
BO'C: You're also a premiership coach, what are you bringing into the season from that experience?
MK: I had the opportunity to play mixed netball and men's netball for Victoria a long time ago. I resettled in Myrtleford back in 1996 and had the opportunity to coach the girls in 1997. They won the premiership that year and also won in 2000 and 2003 and were runners up in 2004. They were a great group of players so my job was easy. I love coming back to coaching in a small town. When you look at the Ovens and Murray, it's such a strong competition. We're playing against towns that have larger populations, but the dedication and commitment from the girls has been fantastic.
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