Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Rankins to lead Echuca United again

Tina Rankins will coach the Eagles' A grade side for the second year in a row as the club finalises its coaching structure.

LUKE MCMANUS January 21, 2014 4:34am

(Back from left) Janelle Leitch, Jocelyn Tomlinson, Shelley Wilson, Judy Poole; (front) Tina Rankins, Lisa Davidson and Fiona Brown.

Echuca United has finalised its coaching structure ahead of the 2014 Murray Netball League season.

The Eagles have retained A grade coach Tina Rankins for a second consecutive season, keen to improve on the side’s seventh-place finish in 2013, while Fiona Brown (B grade) and Jocelyn Tomlinson (C grade) have also signed on.

Both Brown and Tomlinson are fresh from an epic MFL finals series in September.

After claiming the minor premiership, Brown’s B grade lost a thrilling grand final by one goal against Numurkah, and Tomlinson, former C reserves coach, featured as a player when the C graders fell four goals short in the preliminary final against runner-up Tongala.

It is unknown whether Tomlinson will continue playing this season on top of her new role. Her replacement is yet to be appointed.

The Eagles’ junior grades have also welcomed some fresh faces to the coaching group.

Sidelined this season due to injury, A grade regular Shelly Wilson will lead the club’s 17 and under outfit which, after finishing on top of the ladder in 2013, bowed out in the preliminary final.

13 and under premiership coach Janelle Leitch will share the load with Lisa Davidson coaching the 15 and under girls and club favourite Judy Poole will again develop the Eagles’ 12 and under team.

Newcomer Fiona Simpson will take over from Leitch, determined to defend the Eagles’ 13 and under crown.

President Fiona Davis said she was looking forward to the year ahead and welcomed the appointments and new additions.

‘‘We’re excited to have retained a majority of our coaching group,’’ Davis said

‘‘We enjoyed a really successful season last year with five out of the eight sides reaching finals.

‘‘We’re also thrilled to have some new coaches on board which will be crucial to our development and endeavour to achieve even more success this season.’’

Davis added that Sharon Prendergast has been sworn in as the club’s coaching co-ordinator.

The newly created position will have Prendergast overseeing the entire coaching group and providing support when needed.

Senior grades will be back on the court for pre-season training tonight at 6pm, while the juniors will return on February 4.

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