FREELING Netball Club senior one coach Susie O’Brien is hoping one more year at the helm will allow her, and her side, to settle some “unfinished business” in 2017.
After initially committing to coach the Redlegs for two years, O’Brien has signed on for an additional season after her charges came agonisingly close to finals in this year’s Barossa, Light & Gawler netball competition.
“When I got appointed (as coach) I was just going to do it for two years,” O’Brien said.
“But the committee had a chat with me and I said ‘I’d go for another year and have a crack, and try and finish what I started’.
“I told the girls at (club) presentations ‘we’ve still got a bit of a mission we haven’t finished yet’.”
Having finished bottom with two wins in 2014, O’Brien’s arrival the following year saw the Redlegs rocket up the table to miss the finals by just one game.
This year, Freeling missed out on September action by a mere 0.9 per cent – getting so close to a top-four finish in both seasons, but falling just short, has been a driving factor in O’Brien’s decision to go around again.
“I’m disappointed that we did so well and then missed out – to miss out by a point, or whatever, is ridiculous,” O’Brien said.
“The girls all thought because they came so close last year they’d make (finals) this year.
“But it’s still awesome from where we’ve come.”
O’Brien played the final six rounds in the division four side, juggling playing and coaching the senior ones, but said next year coaching will be her primary focus.
“I wanted to build the whole club,” she said.
“I think I’ve done what I needed to do for the rest of the club, and the (senior) ones will be my first priority (next season).”
Meaney wins B&F
Meanwhile, Freeling youngster Tayla Meaney was awarded the club’s senior one best and fairest recently.
After just a season and a half in the top grade, the talented mid-courter edged out tall timber Sarah Luke by a single point to win the award, with Meg Heinrich and Kahley Scott tying for third.
O’Brien said it was a “good surprise” when her niece, Meaney, won the trophy, but added it was well-deserved.
“She’s only going to get better – I’m looking forward to seeing what she can bring next season,” she said.