CAPTAIN Georgia Cann will return to the goal circle for Ballarat Pride tonight.
Cann was sidelined from Victorian Netball League action last week with a niggling foot injury.
Her inclusion will help bolster UB Pride’s goaling rotation, which struggled for accuracy against Boroondara and thwarted a potential first win this season.
Cann starred in her last outing, a home game against North East on April 28.
In a hectic schedule, tonight’s clash against Yarra Valley marks the third of four matches for Pride within a fortnight.
Pride must rebound quickly for a road trip to Geelong this Friday night, then enters a two-week break before a third and final home game fixture on May 26.
Wing defence Ingrid Hopkins is also a chance to return to the court tonight. Hopkins has missed the past month with a calf strain but Pride coach Daniel Cooke was wary of bringing her back too early.
The VNL has reached the midway point of the season.
Cooke said Pride had now met all rivals, the focus was on improvement — match-by-match.
Amending a 30-goal loss to Yarra Valley is first-up.
“We just literally need to put our players on court and hopefully get an improved result because we’re still trying to work on our own things,” Cooke said.
“...We want to improve on last week as well — we did a good job getting the ball into the circle but every goal missed can result in the opposition getting two goals on the scoreboard.”
Yarra Valley has secured a top-four ranking since its last encounter with Pride and will be out to reinforce this with a strong win tonight.
The Ariels hit Pride with a 17-6 opening quarter in round one. The deficit proved too hard for Pride to claw back and, despite claiming handy turnovers, the margin continued to creep out as play wore on. Accurate shooting tonight should help Pride finish closer.
• BALLARAT Pride 19/unders will be on guard tonight.
The 19/unders sit second on the ladder with only two blemishes from the opening half of the season.
One was last week in a second-half fade-out to Boroondara by five goals.
While Yarra Valley is ranked seventh in the development division, Pride had a tight bout with the Ariels in the season opener. Pride claimed a five-goal win in the round one encounter after firing in an 11-7 opening term then holding the buffer.
Ariels clawed within two goals but fresh legs and tight defence kept Ariels at bay.