Newcastle netball: Wests coach Tracey Baggs hoping second team secures open grade spot

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Wests Leagues Balance coach Tracey Baggs believes a second side from her clubwill make theNewcastle open netball championship stronger this season.
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Baggs guided Weststo the premiership double on debut last year and hopes to prepare a second sidein the competition, which starts on April 14, following a grading tournament on Saturday.

The nomination of another Wests team prompted Newcastle Netball Association to hold a grading day to decide who will play in the eight-team open grade.

The new team and thebottom four from last year – Nova Thunder, Maryville Tavern Alize, Souths Pride and Junction Stella –will feature in a round-robin tournament from 2.30pm at National Park. Each side will play allothers in shortened games and the last-placed team will drop to the A-grade competition the following week.

Wests dominated on debut last year, winning both premierships,and will return along with grand finalists Souths Lions and top-four sides BNC Whanau and Forsythes Business Advisors.

The new Wests team will feature the experienced Natarlia Bridges,Central Coast clubmatesTarsha Hawley and Hannah Cullen as well as Kelly Wilson, Phoebe Seamer,Krystal Dallinger and Abbie Johnson.

Baggs, who will coach an unchanged No.1 Wests line-up,said she wanted to bring in a second sideto strengthen the league andmake sure teams had quality oppositionevery week.

“This second group of girls have all come through the Newcastle rep ranks and there’s a couple of senior girls as well,” Baggs said.

“There’s three girls from the Central Coast premier league teams who still want to play locally.

“They like the style of play and see the added value in competing in achallenging and stronger Greater Open.”

Baggs said she hoped the grading committee would see the potential of the new team, which featured many up-and-coming players.

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