Caitlin Lobston is well used to pulling on a green dress ahead of any given Newcastle Netball round, but for the first time in years the tinge is just a little lighter — the former BNC star has linked up with finals bolters Nova Thunder heading into 2020.
Lobston was a key part of BNC’s circle attack in the past few Greater Championship seasons, but at the end of 2019 she made the leap to Nova. It was “time for a bit of a new challenge,” she told the Chronicle, though she couldn’t have expected her offseason swap would be delayed by nearly half a year.
“This is my first year with Nova after I was BNC, yeah, so I’m really looking forward to finally getting out on the court with the girls,” Lobston said. “I like the colour! I had a few great years with the dark green girls, now I’m trying something different. A different shade now, if you will.”
Nova, like most other netball clubs around Australia, have been relegated to chatting in group conversations on Facebook or other apps for the time being. That’s been a good start though, Lobston said, as she made the switch into the club.
“All the Nova girls have been really, really welcoming, I felt right at home as soon as I did make the decision to join. Now I’m just looking forward to actually playing; we haven’t had too much face-to-face time just yet this year!” she laughed.
Nova begins their 2020 season against new top-flight club Kotara South this weekend. Last year saw the ladies in light green finish fourth and make the playoffs, before the club was bundled out by eventual finalists Souths in the semi-finals.
There’s no finals this year — NNA has confirmed it will be just nine regular-season rounds for the Greater Club Series — but Lobston admits all her Nova teammates are still eager to keep that 2019 momentum going into this year, and the next.
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“The [Nova] girls are all about teamwork, and there’s just so much talent in the team from one end of the court to the other. We are really working on everyone using their skills to lift everyone up, and I’m looking forward to putting that into practice,” she said.
“The team trains hard, which I love, and now we’re all ready to go. It’s obviously been a bit of a slow start for everyone, but it’s great to be rolling now. I think we’re going to be a really strong team this year. We can push for the top, this season and beyond.”
Lobston also heaped praise on Newcastle Netball, who she said obviously had a “massive” challenge getting the court-sport back underway in 2020: “It’s really great what everyone at the association has done, I can’t wait to get started again!”
Nova Thunder 2020 fixtures
- Round 1: Kotara South Lions, Court 9 @ 3.45pm, August 1
- Round 2: Junction Stella, Court 8 @ 3.45pm, August 8
- Round 3: Inner Glow, Court 9 @ 3.45pm, August 15
- Round 4: BNC Whanau, Court 8 @ 3.45pm, August 22
- Round 5: West Leagues Balance 1, Court 5 @ 2.25pm, August 29
- Round 6: Junction Stella, Court 6 @ 3.45pm, September 5
- Round 7: Inner Glow, Court 5 @ 2.25pm, September 12
- Round 8: Kotara South Tigers, Court 5 @ 2.25pm, September 19
- Round 9: Junction Stella, Court 6 @ 3.45pm, September 26