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Busselton to host bumper netball round

Headshot of Mitchell Woodcock
Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times
Camera IconCredit: Jon Gellweiler/Picture: Mitchell Woodcock

Netball action returns to the South West this weekend with a bumper Sunday fixture at the Geographe Leisure Centre in Busselton.

All South West Netball-Football League round one games will be played on the same court in a fitting start to the year.

Augusta-Margaret River has returned to the top tier competition and will begin their campaign against South Bunbury from 12pm

Meanwhile, Carey Park and Bunbury will meet later in the day, while last year’s champions Busselton will take on the Eaton Boomers, with last season’s grand finalists Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault having the bye.

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Former Boomers coach and league coordinator Dawn Testrow said it would a tight season.

“I believe Carey Park will bounce back after a tough 2017,” she said.

“I think they will be looking to be a strong chance of a grand final berth this year.

“They are playing Bunbury and it will be interesting, as ex-Souwest Jets player and highly-accredited coach Michelle Wilshire is leading Carey Park this year.

“Some of the girls have followed Michelle from other clubs to Carey Park and some of their youngsters have a few years of open experience under their belts now.”

Testrow said it was hard to gauge how good the Hawks would be as they re-entered the competition.

“I believe South Bunbury have lost quite a few players,” she said.

“Margaret River have a great development system and good coaches, so I would be leaning towards the Hawks on this one.”

Busselton will be at full strength this weekend, with their Souwest Jets players all available, according to Testrow.

“Eaton are still coming through a rebuilding phase and have plenty of young players,” she said.

The Lions have lost a number of players in the off-season, with some joining the Panthers.

“They (Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault) are looking like a young team,” she said.

“They have lost their experienced coach in Aroha Tamatea. Steve Lancaster has stepped up to be their open coach.”

Testrow tipped Tia Wallace, who has gone from the Boomers to Carey Park, to have a good year.

“I think she will blossom under Michelle,” she said.

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