The shooting of captain Shelley Spagnolo will be vital for Coffs Harbour.
The shooting of captain Shelley Spagnolo will be vital for Coffs Harbour. TREVOR VEALE

No snoozing in the grand final

COFFS Harbour’s premier league netball coach, Kylie Graham, can’t wait for this afternoon’s grand final against Hastings Valley to get under way.

“Bring it on because we’re ready,” Graham said enthusiastically.

This afternoon’s replay of last year’s grand final at the Murray Drive courts is set to be a cracking contest just like the one that Coffs Harbour won four weeks ago in the major semi.

That victory saw the Coffs Harbour girls take control of proceedings early then refuse to take their foot off the pedal.

Graham said that victory came from a hard-earned lesson at the start of the season when Hastings Valley tasted victory over them.

“What happened was we had a five minute snooze and they took advantage and got in front of us,”

“When we woke up, we matched it, we came back but you can’t play catch-up netball.”

Even though the Coffs team lost last year’s grand final to Hastings Valley, the coach says that revenge for that defeat has rarely been a motivating factor for the team this season.

“The team is different,” she explained.

“There are quite a few players from last year but we’ve been training since November and working together as one since then and that has been one of our biggest strengths.”

Another strength the coach points to is the mix of experience and youth within the squad.

The ability of teenagers Lillian Dellar, Hope Secomb and Kate Brook to not only play at the senior level but contribute as well has been a real driving force the team’s success this year.

“They’ve amazed me, I knew they could handle it but they’ve just taken it to the next level,” Graham said of the young trio.

“You’ve got the energy of the young players and the experience of the older players.

“You put those together on the court and it’s just dynamic.”

Another advantage Coffs Harbour have this afternoon is playing at home.

Last time around the sidelines were filled with Coffs Harbour fans and the team were spurred on by the vocal support.

“Having the home court advantage is awesome,” Graham said.

“Don’t get me wrong, last time they had their own support but we had everyone and then you’ve got me on the sideline and I’m no quiet person.”

When it comes to grabbing the title today the best advice the coach can give is to change nothing.

She will give the team the exact same advice that worked so well last time around.

“I said to them ‘play our game, our set plays and you will match them and you will take control’,” Graham said.

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