Cassia Saunders will swap red and white for black and gold next season after taking on the A-grade coaching role at Katamatite.By Hannah Driscoll
Cassia Saunders will swap red and white for black and gold next season after taking on the A-grade coaching role at Katamatite.
Saunders was Goulburn Valley Netball League president last year and won the B-grade premiership with Shepparton Swans this season and this will be the first time she has coached A-grade.
Katamatite has finished on the bottom of the ladder the past two seasons after playing finals in 2010 and has won one game in two years.
The 27-year-old said she was attracted by the challenge and the opportunity ‘‘to give back to another club that has been struggling a little bit’’.
‘‘Seeing the improvement of the girls out there and being able to help them will be really rewarding,’’ Saunders said.
‘‘It’s sad to be leaving the Swans, but they were all really supportive, so that was good.’’
Another big drawcard for Saunders was her family connections to the club as her brother Tyson and partner Rhys Colbeck will be playing football for the Tigers next season.
Her sister Tesslyn and Swans premiership teammate Carina Tenace, a midcourter and defender respectively, will be joining defender-goaler Saunders at the Tigers.
Saunders has been at the Swans since 2004, except for a stint at Murray Netball League club Numurkah in 2010.
She coached the Blues’ C-grade side and assisted with coaching A-grade and coached the Swans’ 17-and-under team the past two seasons.
Her goal is to make the finals this season with the injection of new players combined with the talent already at the club.
Katamatite has entered a team in Goulburn/North East Regional State League open division, which Saunders hoped would be good preparation for the Picola District season.
‘‘By giving all the girls, not just the A-grade girls but the whole club, some pre-season training and entering them in and rotating some of the girls through, hopefully that will get them exited,’’ she said.
Saunders said the benefits of the pre-season competition would be fitness, the team getting used to new players and the challenge of taking on other tough teams.
‘‘The competition will be really strong, but for those girls from Katty who haven’t played in that type of environment before, I think they will really enjoy and it will give them a chance to step up,’’ she said.
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