Annie Neenan admits she’s “super excited” to run out in Kotara Souths colours when Newcastle Netball finally returns to play this weekend, though the young star also added she might be “a little less fit” than usual.
That is beginning to look like the story of the opening rounds when the Greater Bank Club Championship — the new-look NNA competition being played out in the staggered due to the monster COVID delay — finally begins this weekend.
Kotara South enters the top leagues in 2020 with the majority of Maryville’s squad under its banner. During the offseason, the sizeable club linked up with the Championship roster to meet the three-team demands of the altered Greater Open plans.
It was a “really exciting” move that everyone behind the scenes has been “stoked” to be a part of, Neenan told the Chronicle. Maryville had been perennial finals challengers as part of their two-team setup, but this gives them the squads the junior backing they never had as an independent outfit competing in Newcastle’s top grades.
“We’re really excited, it’s a lot of the same Maryville girls so we know each other, how we play and everything, but we have the chance to fill our 23s team now as well and get those young players up from Kotara too,” she said.
“Helena, our club president, was really excited as well because she knew there would be a great partnership between those top-tier Greater Open teams and the young Kotara girls, who now have a squad to aim for at the top.”
The club switch seems like more than a lifetime ago, however, as play finally properly begins this weekend. Neenan trained under the orange and black banners of the Tigers all the way back in February, but has been patiently waiting ever since.
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“We’ve done what training we can, but right now there’s not a lot that we can do except get ready to be playing again. It’s a lot of basics, match play, and definitely working on actually getting fit for the season now,” she laughed.
“I’m just really looking forward to it, however it is. I’ve missed playing a lot. I don’t really mind that I’m not as fit as I was, I’ll get back there and we’re all in the same boat. Just the fact we’re going to play again, that’s the good news.”
Kotara opens their Greater Bank Club Championship stint with a first-round meeting against Nova Thunder at 2.25pm Saturday afternoon. The ladies in green finished fourth last season, and made it to the playoff semi-finals.
Kotara Souths Tigers 2020 fixtures
- July 25: Nova Thunder, Court 9 @ 2.25pm
- August 1: University of Newcatle, Court 14 @ 3.45pm
- August 8: Junction Stella, Court 9 @ 2.25pm
- August 15: Inner Glow, Court 13 @ 3.45pm
- August 22: BNC Whanau, Court 14 @ 3.45pm
- August 29: West Leagues, Court 9 @ 3.45pm
- September 5: Souths Lions, Court 9 @ 3.45pm
- September 19: University of Newcastle, Court 19 @ 2.25pm
- September 26: Junction Stella, Court 14 @ 3.45pm