Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Bruinier dons coaching hat at Shepparton Swans

Jana Bruinier said she was feeling excited — and a little nervous — after taking on the role of Shepparton Swans’ A-grade coach for next year.

HANNAH DRISCOLL November 23, 2012 4:05am

Jana Bruinier will take over from Colleen Toy as the Swans’ A-grade coach next season.

Jana Bruinier said she was feeling excited — and a little nervous — after taking on the role of Shepparton Swans’ A-grade coach for next year.

Bruinier said she was informed of her appointment on Tuesday and it was confirmed with the committee last night.

The 26-year-old replaces Colleen Toy, who has decided to step down after two seasons at the helm which yielded two grand final appearances.

‘‘There’s a mixture of lots of excitement and lots of new ideas and things like that and I’m a little bit nervous as well because I’ve got some really big shoes to step into,’’ Bruinier said.

‘‘Colleen has been fantastic and so successful for two years now and so it’s a bit of pressure as well.’’

Bruinier coached the Swans’ Goulburn North-East Regional State League team earlier in the year and was playing coach of the B-grade side which won the premiership in September.

‘‘It was a big learning curve for me last year and I think it will be another big learning curve for me this year, but I’ve come through a lot of elite netball and had a lot of coaching done with me, so I am hoping to use that,’’ she said.

Bruinier said she would love to help the A-grade side breakthrough to win the elusive grand final, but that was a ‘‘really, really big task’’.

Her first step would be to ‘‘find my feet’’ and develop a team structure and fitness base.

She said she hoped to play A-grade this season, but would have to go through the selection process first.

Defender Bec Dudgeon has confirmed she would return to Katandra next season, but Bruinier said that was the only major change to this year’s A-grade line-up at this stage.

‘‘For family reasons she’s heading out there and we all respect that and understand that,’’ Bruinier said.

‘‘Obviously we would love to have her in red and white, but she’s not going to be, so we’ll be looking at trying to get someone else in there who can fill her shoes which will be a difficult task.’’

Kate Toy co-coached the Swans’ B-reserves with sister Gemma this year and will continue in the role next season, while Tania Orchard will coach the 17-and-unders after joining the club from Mooroopna.

The B-grade coaching role is yet to be filled.

Colleen Toy said she wanted to spend more time with her family, including her five grandchildren, but would continue to be involved in the club.

‘‘When you commit to netball, it’s a big commitment and you don’t want to do it half-paced,’’ she said.

‘‘I’ve loved my involvement here, it’s just great, but I just thought it was time for me to step aside and someone else have a go.

‘‘The girls last year and the year before were fantastic, very professional group of girls, and I loved working with them and I really admired their commitment to the sport.

‘‘I can’t fault them at all.’’

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