Sport

Sefton excited to be back at helm

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December 22, 2017

The Deniliquin Rams have re-appointed club champion Jodie Sefton as non-playing coach for the 2018 Murray League season.

Sefton has led the A grade side to the preliminary final in the past two seasons, returning as coach in 2016 after some time away from the club.

The seven-time Rams A grade premiership player — six of which were as a playing-coach — says she has some unfinished business.

‘‘Obviously we were all pretty disappointed with how things finished over the past two seasons,’’ she said.

‘‘We certainly had the capability to go all the way but just couldn’t get the job done to make it to the grand final.

‘‘While a grand final appearance is one of our goals, the main goal is making the Rams an enjoyable place to play netball.

‘‘This year we had a lot of camaraderie on and off the court and had the right ingredients, so I’d like to keep that culture around the club.’’

Next year will see at least one change to the A grade line-up, with runner-up best and fairest and key defender Emily Mildren off to university.

While Sefton conceded this will be a big blow to the side, she also believes there is plenty of upside for the Rams.

‘‘It’s not ideal to be losing Emily as she really started to hit her straps this year,’’ she said.

‘‘She developed into a consistent performer and it’s a shame we won’t have her down in defence.

‘‘But we do have a group of talented juniors coming up the ranks. Ella Park, Kate McCalman and Amy Rodda are some who will certainly be considered for the A/B squad.

‘‘It’s always an enjoyable time transitioning the young players to senior netball.

‘‘We also expect to have Leah Blake return after missing the majority of this year due to an ankle injury.

‘‘Leah has already started training to try and make herself ready for the upcoming season.

‘‘I’m looking forward to working with Leah after such a promising start before her injury.’’

Another potential returning player for the Rams will be Hayley Hall, who missed the 2017 season due to having a baby.

In her last season on the court Hall was named in the 2016 Murray Netball League Team of the Year as a sub.

‘‘Hayley will be a huge inclusion,’’ Sefton said.

‘‘She’s one of the premier players in the competition so she will be a welcome return.

‘‘I’m excited to see the young players mix in with experienced players like Hayley.’’

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