New Koroit co-coaches Carly Pulling and Jess O'Connor want to keep youth rotating through Hampden senior netball grades

UP FOR THE TEST: New Koroit co-coaches Carly Pulling and Jess O'Connor are looking forward to their first season in charge at Victoria Park. Picture: Christine Ansorge
UP FOR THE TEST: New Koroit co-coaches Carly Pulling and Jess O'Connor are looking forward to their first season in charge at Victoria Park. Picture: Christine Ansorge

YOUTH development will be key to Koroit’s continued success, according to recently-appointed Koroit co-coaches Carly Pulling and Jess O’Connor.

The pair, who were unveiled as the Saints’ new open grade netball leaders this week, said they hope to continue the work started by predecessor Kasey Owen, who coached the Saints to the 2017 premiership.

“We’ll probably retain a pretty similar list to what we had this year, but our goal next year is to rotate through a lot more juniors and do a bit more development there next year,” Pulling said.

“We were pretty good with getting most of the junior girls through this year, so (we’ll) keep building on that.”

O’Connor, who returned to Victoria Park for the 2017 season after an extended stint away, said strong foundations were in place at the Victoria Park Club, which has been a major force in the Hampden league since 2001.

The Saints have played in 12 grand finals in 17 years, and have won nine of them.

“It’s a very experienced team already, so we’ll just continue on from what Kasey did last year,” O’Connor said.

“We’ll try to develop more juniors and get them through the senior grades, which the club was really good at last year, and just keep it a fun and enjoyable season and keep it a really good team moral.”

O’Connor said the Saints would have a bit of a later start to pre-season, due to playing finals, but would get in “one or two” training sessions before Christmas, before launching into preparations for 2018 in earnest from late January.