A BIT of light-hearted banter has turned into a recruiting coup for Hampden league netball powerhouse Koroit.
New Saints co-coach Carly Pulling has helped lure her Warrnambool Mermaids basketball teammate Molly McKinnon to Victoria Park for the 2018 season.
The pair played together in the Mermaids’ 2017 Big V division two championship.
McKinnon will make basketball her priority but is also noted for her prowess on the netball court.
The versatile tall, who can play at either end, was named best on court for North Warrnambool Eagles in their 17 and under premiership in September.
“It started out as a bit of a joke,” Pulling said.
“I have formed a good friendship with Molly. There were a few sledges throughout the basketball season.
“I said to her ‘come and play netball at Koroit next season’. When myself and Jess (O’Connor) were appointed co-coaches I thought I’d try my best to get her out there.”
Pulling, who is unsure if she will play basketball next season, said Koroit was a club which understood the balancing act between pursuing two sports.
“Molly is a very good young talent and is up and coming in basketball and netball,” she said.
“It was a winner for us to get her across the line.
“Koroit has always been very understanding of basketball and our creed is we think basketball helps with netball so we are always lenient if people need to miss games throughout the season. Molly has picked basketball as her number-one sport.”
Koroit has also added teenager Nessie McLaren to its ranks. The midcourter has joined from Warrnambool and District league club Old Collegians where she won the Warriors’ 15 and under best and fairest.
Koroit is chasing back-to-back open grade premierships but Pulling said bolstering its division one team was a priority.
“Nessie might start in division one after coming across from the District league but I think Nessie’s got a lot of potential and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see her in A grade early on,” she said.
Meanwhile, Koroit has made changes to its football set up.
Former club secretary Stephen Hoy has replaced Maurice Molan as president after he oversaw four straight senior flags during his five seasons at the helm.
Five-time Hampden league premiership player Andrew Foster will coach the Saints’ reserves side.
Hoy said improving the Saints’ facilities was atop his to-do list.
“They deserve the best given the way they continue to represent our community and the success they have achieved,” he said.