2018 Hunter Haval Black Diamond Women’s Preview
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There will be great intrigue in the 2018 GE Black Diamond Women’s competitions as the experienced sides clash with the new teams in an expanded sixteen team competition.
Newcastle City took all before them in 2017 in a dominant performance, however in 2018 , the Blues will field two evenly matches teams following an internal draft to decide the make up of the “Stars” and the “Novas”. Whilst not expecting the same domination as in 2017 both teams are filled with plenty of talent and will expected to be in contention at the end of the season.
The talent has been evenly distributed with Ash Hallyar, Paige Mathewson, Sarah Halvorsen, Roisin Rosie-Yates and Tayla Braithwaite lining up for the Stars, whilst the Nova’ will be led by Kate Handley, Meaghan MacDonald, Anna Ralston, Erin White and Kailee Goodwin
Nelson Bay have figured in all three Black Diamond Women’s Grand Finals, however will be entering the 2018 season minus a number of familiar faces in Pippa Smyth, Lisa Steane and Jess Phillips. New coach Russel Fox will be relying on players such as Sophie Balcombe, Kate Holland, Lauren Cooper and Jemma Astley to lead the way for the Marlins.
Preliminary Finalists, Maitland and Gosford will be looking to take the next step in 2018. The Tigers will need to do it however without 2017 Women’s Best & Fairest winner, Allison Parkin who has moved to Sydney. Tarryn O’Hehir and Rachael Elcoate. Talented youngster Orana Young returns to the Tigers.
Maitland on the other hand have been reasonably stable in the off-season, and they will again be relying on key players Jacqui Dudgeon, Sarah James, Sarah Burns and Jodie Eagar to lead the way. Killarney Vale are expected to be a key player in 2018 after making great strides in 2017. The new coaching staff are buoyant from what they have seen in pre-season and with a young playing list are expected to hit the ground running. Ashleigh Page, Skye Bailey and Georgia Butler, are predicted to have big years for the Bombers.
After making the finals for the first time in 2017, Wyong Lakes will be looking to continue this improvement under new coach, Josh Lawler. The Magpies have acquired former Killarney Vale captain Monique Maddalena in the off season and she will add great experience to the side. The Magpies keys will once again be Rebecca Ives, Emily Bohan, Aleece Hemmings, Alexandra Pearce and Ash Sephton.
Warners Bay coach, Tracy Baker will be looking for a change of luck on the injury front as she enters her second year in charge. Injuries have cruelled the Bulldogs past two seasons however they remain positive ahead of the 2018 season. Di Crep was a revelation in the ruck last year and she will again be a key. Kate Booth has been a stalwart down back, whilst Rachel Evans showed plenty of promise up forward last year.
Singleton were the big improvers in 2017 and a solid pre-season has the Roosterettes primed for a big 2018. Tori Cowburn was standout last year earning herself a spot in the Women’s Team of the Year. Tahlia Thompson and Kyah McBride are two youngsters to keep an eye on for 2018.
Lake Macquarie have a new coach in club stalwart, John ‘JJ” Janissen and the regular influx of new players. Whilst it may take the Dockers a little while to gel as a team they have a couple of players namely Holly Kozlik and Emma-Jayne Howe who will make an immediate impact. Cardiff will be looking on an improved season after finishing 10th in 2017. Numbers have increased significantly in the off-season. Best & Fairest winner Mollie Palmer is expected to improve further this season.
Muswellbrook will enter their second season buoyed by an expanded playing squad and the introduction of the four new teams.
Of the four new teams, Port Stephens, Terrigal Avoca, The Entrance Bateau Bay and Wallsend-West Newcastle the Panthers appear to be the most advanced with solid numbers and the acquisition of experienced players in Morgan Ross, Leah Tagilala and Danielle Rippon. All in all an exciting Women’s season is about to commence.
Good luck ladies !!!