Welcome to first division in hunt for for open state championships

BATHURST swept all before them during last year’s Netball NSW State Championships but repeating that effort will be a mammoth ask this long weekend.

CHALLENGE: Alisha Glasgow and Bathurst's opens team are playing in division one at this year's Netball NSW State Championships. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

CHALLENGE: Alisha Glasgow and Bathurst's opens team are playing in division one at this year's Netball NSW State Championships. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

That’s because the Bathurst women are taking the step up to the championship division for the upcoming tournament in Gosford.

Bathurst may find the going tougher against some of the state’s leading associations but it’s certain to be a boost for the city’s top players.

Coach Michael Germech said this year’s goals will be completely different from 2017.

“We’re hoping to finish somewhere around the middle of the ladder. Being our first year in division one we’re not too sure what to expect,” he said.

“There’s a few other teams coming up from division two who we played against last year and we’re expecting to be competitive against them.

“We won’t have the same lofty heights in our goals compared to last year. If we play well but go down in our games then that’s okay. We know it’s going to be harder.”

Katie Matthews and Ebony Hotham have been brought into the Bathurst squad for the championships.

Regardless of how Bathurst fares against the stiffer competition Germech is hopeful the step up to division one can inspire the next crop of district talent.

“My goal has been to provide a path for our junior netballers to aspire to, and I think we’ve done that,” he said.

“They get to play against some great teams and experience some very good netball.

“We’re delighted to be in division one and we’re determined to stay here. It’s better for us to be playing here than winning all our division two matches by a lot of points.”

Bathurst starts their Netball NSW State Championships campaign against Charlestown from 9.30am this Saturday.

Grace Broadfield, Sam Thompson, Jess Matthews, Maddy McAlister and Saphai Mitai-Ngatai are the Bathurst players returning for another shot the championships.

BATHURST: Grace Broadfield, Chloe Madden, Jess Matthews, Madeline McAlister, Emma Miller, Saphai Mitai-Ngatai, Sam Thompson, Alisha Glasgow, Kate Burns, Katie Matthews, Ebony Hotham

We’re delighted to be in division one and we’re determined to stay here.

Michael Germech