New Camperdown coach says Magpies can go all the way

NEW Camperdown netball coach Tracey Baker says the Magpies have assembled a strong coaching panel capable of leading the Hampden league club to another finals campaign.

Baker, 38, has taken on the club’s A grade coaching role.

The Magpies’ veteran, who will continue to play in the top grade, will have help from newly-appointed assistant coach Emily Stephens, captain Leah Sinnott and former Melbourne Vixen Sarah Wall, who has taken on a mentoring role at her home club.

Baker, a two-time league best-and-fairest winner, said she was keen to develop her coaching.

The mid-courter coached Camperdown’s A1 side in 1999 alongside Sinnott and led the Magpies’ 13 and under team last season.

Baker said she was excited about her new role, especially given the Hampden league will welcome new sides Hamilton Kangaroos and Portland in 2013.

“Hopefully we can get back to basics and have a bit of fun,” she said. “We’ll build on new combinations and try and work things out.

“We’re playing in the (Western Region) state league and we will use state league to try combinations.”

Camperdown netball co-ordinator Annette Hickey said Baker had a thorough knowledge of the game and the Magpies’ playing group.

“We felt we had enough talent in the club to draw upon expertise and that’s why we appointed Tracey,” she said.

Stephens will miss at least the first half of the season as she recovers from an Achilles injury.

Baker said Stephens, who hoped to start training in March, would be a great acquisition to the Magpies’ coaching team.

“She will be great on the sidelines,” she said.

“It will be good to have eyes on and off the court.”

Wall will have a hands-on role at Leura Oval.

“If anyone has questions they can give her a call and she’s going to do junior clinics,” Baker said. 

“It’s awesome for us to have someone with her experience.”  Baker said Camperdown, which dropped out of the 2012 finals series in straight sets, had kept the bulk of its team together.

Former coach Rachel Rodger has moved away, while Geelong-based Kate Wilson’s playing future is up in the air.

Baker said there were a number of players in line to play seniors at some stage.

“Rachel Mungean, who won the league A1 best-and-fairest this year, is another one to be considered for the mid-court,” she said.

justine.mc@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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