RESPECTED Apollo Bay netballer Claire Smith says the Hawks are in a good place despite a lack of on-court success this season.
Smith is one of six members from the Bay’s 2014 B Grade finals outfit to step into the senior ranks in 2015, after an exodus of players and a career-ending knee injury to last season’s club champion Tiff Holt.
The Hawks have also continued to develop their juniors, with Meg Bryant and Johanna Noseda featuring in the A Grade line-up on a regular basis from the 17-and-under ranks.
Smith said the senior group remained upbeat under coach Jodie Bertrand and were proud of their ability to remain competitive during most of the Hawks’ games this season.
“It has been a tough season, but I’m still enjoying my netball,” she said.
“Everyone’s been getting along and socially it’s been great as well.
“We’ve had a few blow outs, but most of the games we haven’t been getting smashed each week, so that’s been good in that respect.”
The Bay hosts coastal rival Lorne tomorrow and Smith said a bolstered line-up had its sights set on beating the Dolphins.
Captain Marlie Coutts and midcourter Katrina Duynhoven are likely to return to the side after missing last weekend’s match against Otway Districts.
“It’d be great to post a win and there’s no reason why we can’t this weekend,” Smith said.
“We were with Otway until half time and we couldn’t quite keep it together, but this week we’ll have a couple of players back.
“We just need to put four quarters of netball together.”
Smith said the likes of up-and-coming netballers Bryant, Noseda and Lani Harbour, who made her A Grade debut earlier this season, had a bright future with the club after a tough initiation to senior netball.
“Joey and Meg have pretty much played every week and Lani’s played a few games from the 17s stepping up and having a run in the A Grade, and they’re all holding their own,” she said.
“It’s great and we really appreciate it as well.”
In other Colac district netball matches tomorrow, Birregurra hosts Simpson, while Forrest tackles ladder-leaders Colac Imperials.