Sophie Barr to join Cobden as playing assistant coach in 2018 in Hampden league open grade netball

BOMBER COUP: Former North Warrnambool Eagle Sophie Barr, pictured in 2014,  will return to the Hampden league in 2018 as an assistant coach at Cobden.
BOMBER COUP: Former North Warrnambool Eagle Sophie Barr, pictured in 2014, will return to the Hampden league in 2018 as an assistant coach at Cobden.

COBDEN has secured the services of past Hampden netball star Sophie Barr ahead of the 2018 season.

The former North Warrnambool Eagle will join the Bombers’ open grade side as a playing assistant coach under Nadine McNamara, following partner Paul Hinkley to the club.

The pair left the Hampden league at the end of 2014, pursuing playing careers with Geelong Football Netball League club Newton and Chilwell.

McNamara, who has seen Barr in action in various leagues, said she was eager to bring the versatile player to Cobden Recreation Reserve.

“She used to play for Geelong Cougars in the VNL – she was playing championship when I was playing under 19s, that was in 2010 – and I saw her play a couple of games for North Warrnambool Eagles,” McNamara said.

“She’s quite a decorated netballer, she’s had a fantastic career.

“Obviously, I think we’d like to have her in the midcourt, but in saying that, she’s well-suited to goals as well.

“We’re just really excited to have her on board and see what she brings.”

Barr, who is currently travelling overseas, will return in January. McNamara said she would also help out some of the club’s junior grades.

Former Bombers junior Amy Hammond will return after a couple of seasons with Murray Netball League club Tongala.

Hammond, who won the Hampden league under 15 best and fairest award in 2014, impressed at the Murray club, and was named best on court in the open side in its AFL Victoria Community Championships interleague match in May.

“It’s very exciting, and, for us going forward, recruiting these players and retaining our list, it strengthens our division one, division two and division three sides, too,” McNamara said.

“Hopefully we get success in all senior grades, not just the open.”

The Bombers have gone from strength to strength since McNamara arrived at the club for the 2016 season. After ending 2015 with the wooden spoon, they leapt to fourth in her first year at the helm, bowing out in the elimination final, and made it to the semi-finals this year.