The circumstances for Newcastle Netball bringing in a Greater Open club championship may not necessarily be ideal, but it’s a format Inner Glow’s Kylie Mulville wants to see stick around long-term, she revealed ahead of the competition’s opening round.
The Newcastle Netball’s top grades have moved from two to three in the 2020 season, and then altered slightly after the long-term hiatus thanks to COVID-19. Mulville believes it’s a big silver lining from the break, though, to have all three teams fighting for the same end of year prize in the form of the Greater Club Championship.
“It’s a really cool format, I think. It means that all three teams can get involved together and really feel like they’re working towards something. All three teams at each club are going to be pretty key this year,” she told the Chronicle.
Inner Glow, who replaced defending champs West Leagues’ sister squad in the top grade system, boasts a great blend of young prospects and veteran talents in their ranks. The new club championship format suits them to a tee, Mulville admitted.
“It’s a really good chance for the juniors to get involved with it all, and show what they can do in the big games. The more youngsters we can get up to play those high-level competitions the better, so I really love it.”
The new Greater Open club, like many others heading into the delayed 2020 season, have mostly been focusing on fitness and match preparation ahead of this weekend’s opening whistle. Mulville laughed they were “remembering how to play again.”
“We’re looking forward to it,” she added,” because it’s just been so long since we’ve been out playing on the court. It’s only been a few weeks back now, but it’s been so nice to just be training together again, and seeing each other.”
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All three teams are just looking to “dip their toes in” this time around, Mulville added. With all the changes, and the short-format season, it’s a perfect chance for Inner Glow to find their pace in the NNA league before it “gets serious” in 2021 again.
“It’s going to be a bit of a mixture for us all over the court because we’re a new team,” she said. “This is a bit of a practice run, and then hopefully next year we’ll be able to work hard and settle in once everything – fingers crossed – blows over a bit more.”
Inner Glow begins life in the Greater Open Championship system this season with one of the biggest challenges; the debutants face three-time defending champions West Leagues in the late slot on Saturday afternoon.
Inner Glow 2020 fixtures
- July 25: West Leagues Balance 1, Court 8 @ 3.45pm
- August 1: Souths Lions, Court 8 @ 2.25pm
- August 8: Nova Thunder, Court 14 @ 3.45pm
- August 15: Kotara South Tigers, Court 13 @ 3.45pm
- August 22: Junction Stella, Court 8 @ 2.25pm
- August 29: University of Newcastle, Court 8 @ 3.45pm
- September 5: BNC Whanau, Court 9 @ 2.25pm
- September 12: West Leagues Balance 1, Court 14 @ 2.25pm
- September 19: Souths Lions, Court 13 @ 3.45pm
- September 26: Nova Thunder, Court 9 @ 3.45pm