Versatile squad ready for competitive match

Central Highlands Netball League’s senior interleague team is ready to face the best players from a traditionally strong netball competition bursting with talent.

COUNTING DOWN: Central Highlands Netball League senior interleague captain Kelly Conroy and coach Jordan O'Keefe are looking forward to what they predict will be a challenging encounter. Picture: Kate Healy

COUNTING DOWN: Central Highlands Netball League senior interleague captain Kelly Conroy and coach Jordan O'Keefe are looking forward to what they predict will be a challenging encounter. Picture: Kate Healy

Led by captain Kelly Conroy and under the instruction of experienced coach Jordan O’Keefe, the senior side takes on Riddell District at Buninyong on Saturday as part of the Worksafe Community Championships. 

Conroy, who plays for Springbank, said she was honoured to be named senior interleague captain for the third consecutive year and was most looking forward to the challenge. 

“It is a great group of girls that have come from a variety of teams and I think that is really good for our league and the clubs to have those girls represented,” she said.

“I’m looking forward to how competitive it is going to be because Riddell is a really good league and they are going to put up a really good challenge for us.

“I’m excited to play again with a couple of girls I played with in the past as well as new girls I’ve never played with before.”

Conroy said the game marked a rare opportunity to get to know players from other clubs, who would usually be the opposition. 

“It is really good to come together and play together on the same team for once rather than always having that rivalry,” she said. “You get to know the girls a lot more and it makes your Saturday netball even more competitive because you know how each other plays and it brings in more strategy.”

Central Highlands’ advantage of having the game played on home court could be boosted with a strong crowd of supporters.

Conroy expected supporters from each of the clubs represented, but hoped other supporters from the clubs not represented would also come along and get behind the league. 

The team had its first practice match on Tuesday night after several training sessions together.

O’Keefe said the time the squad had spent together had been really constructive.

“Doing interleague, it is really just about the players connecting well on court and learning how to play with each other efficiently,” he said. “Everyone has the talent and skills, that’s why they were selected, it is just about playing well as a unit.”

O’Keefe said the Central Highlands’ senior side had more height and more speed compared to last year, while the experience of the five players who had competed together previously would be an added advantage.

“We have a very versatile team,” he said. “There will be a fair few rotations through centre court and at both ends of the court as well.” 

There are no injuries, the full squad is available to play.