City West Falcons coach Marg Lind will eventually look back fondly on this Victorian Netball League season.
The raw emotion of losing a championship division grand final will stick with the super- coach for a while yet, but quiet reflection on the entire season some time down the track should bring her, and the rest of the coaching staff, a fair amount of pride.
The Falcons walked away with division 1 and 19-and-under premierships and were minor premiers of the top flight for the second year in succession – not a bad consolation prize.
The Falcons remain the only club to have all three teams feature in the grand finals.
“When you look at it statistically, what an amazing year,” Lind said. “We’re really big on being a club, not just one team. It’s just disappointing you don’t get the big one, which is the championship.”
The Falcons might have laid the foundations for future success on Saturday night. Their development system is second-to-none and the players who featured in the lower division premierships will form part of the championship side in future.
“We’ve got such good youth in those teams,” Lind said. “It means there’s a bit of depth at the club and, as long as we retain those players, there’s a lot of good potential here.”
The Falcons unearthed a future star in Jane Cook in their 48-37 win over Southern Saints in the division 1 grand final. Cook shot 38 goals at an incredible 100 per cent to lift the Falcons to victory. The tall teenage shooter is likely to be a championship regular next season.
In the 19-and-under competition, it was the Falcons causing the upset, downing Geelong Cougars 50-45. Centre/wing defence Soli Ropati was the game’s MVP.