Despite missing out on a fifth consecutive premiership, Navarre’s A Grade season will be remembered as a successful one where the team fought hard in trying circumstances.
The Grasshoppers began looking towards the future after the loss of multiple premiership players for 2017.
A cast of junior netballers as well as B and C Grade player stepped up to fill the void that was left.
Despite the lack of A Grade experienced players Navarre was able to cling on to eighth spot to qualify for the finals.
Navarre A Grade coach Taylor Mason said her and co-coach Caitlyn Murphy set realistic ambitions at the start of the year.
“We had the goal of making finals this year and we are happy that we were able to do so,” she said.
“We had much different circumstances to what Caitlyn and have been used to in previous years.
“We were in a very unfamiliar situation late in the season with finals still up in the air. I am so proud of Navarre as a club to pull together and get us into finals.”
Navarre’s netball program as a whole had a successful season, with four teams qualifying for finals and one progressing to the grand final.
A number of junior girls were given opportunities to step up to the A Grade team, gaining valuable experience for the future.
“It is promising to know we have got junior girls stepping up,” Mason said.
“We had girls as young as 14 playing in A Grade.”
Mia Jensz was a standout for Navarre’s A Grade team, playing a regular role in the side as well as dominating in the under-17 team, eventually winning the under-17 league best and fairest.
“Mia has probably had the best season of her career. She has improved so much and contributed a lot to our A Grade team.”
Mason said she is yet to confirm her immediate future with Navarre.
“Travelling from Geelong is a hard task,” she said.
“I know that even if I might not be at the club next year my future is with Navarre.”