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Berryman to coach Mathoura netball club

Rita Berryman has been appointed Mathoura Netball Club's A grade coach.

LUKE MCMANUS January 8, 2014 4:04am

Mathoura Netball Club’s Rita Berryman will call on advice from club stalwarts during her debut season as A grade coach.

Berryman, who guided the Timbercutters’ C grade team for the past five seasons, takes on the top job ahead of what she anticipates to be ‘‘a bumper 2014’’.

Banking on her own experience and success, including many premierships as coach and player, Berryman will also have the entire coaching panel, as well as former Mathoura and current Katandra coach Grant Matthews, in her corner.

‘‘(Grant) came to our club and turned us around,’’ Berryman said.

‘‘I am lucky enough to still be in contact. He’s extremely experienced and I’ve learned a lot from him and will always go to him for advice.

‘‘There’s depth at our club like previous coaches and players who I can always approach.’’

Among them is Rohan Starkey who will again lead the Timbercutters’ B grade and under 17 sides, while newly appointed C grade co-coaches Janine O’Callaghan and Lynette Binks bring a wealth of experience to the fold.

Rachele Wright will lead the 15 and under side, Barb Cox will continue in her role as the 13 and under coach, while Jayde Ilsley will oversee the Mini Midgets.

‘‘Everyone has plenty of experience and we’re all on the same page.’’

As the Timbercutters finalise their on-field and off-field structures, Berryman highlighted the buzz and excitement attached to 2014, a vast improvement on the past two seasons which has seen Mathoura struggle.

Fresh faces, among other features, have generated a positive feeling and is one of the reasons which prompted Berryman to take on the role.

‘‘We’re hosting the grand final this year, we have an Easter home game, a fresh outlook, new coaches, new committee... the vibe is wonderful,’’ Berryman said.

‘‘I’ve been thinking about it for a long time but it’s only been until recently I’ve thought to myself ‘yep, you can do it’.’’

Berryman will have most of the 2013 crop to choose from, with an injured Olivia Harding-Davies and former coach Britt Phillips in doubt.

‘‘We’re pretty right at this stage, but you never know who’s going to present at our first training,’’ Berryman said.

The veteran, who has loved netball since the age of four, said a disciplined game plan centred around teamwork and respect would be at the forefront of her coaching philosophy when preaseason begins on January 16.

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