NEW Dennington coach Melissa Burt knows she has inherited a team in a strong position.
The premiership defender, who can also swing into goals, will lead the Dogs in 2018 as they strive for a fourth consecutive Warrnambool and District A grade netball flag.
The new league Powerhouse took out all three senior flags in 2016 and 2017, and Burt’s previous charges, the 15 and under team, were runners up this year.
“We just want to maintain what the club has done over the past few years, just making sure all grades are remaining strong,” Burt said.
“Obviously, finals would be brilliant, but that’s not the main focus at the moment; we’re just trying to build the juniors and keep the senior sides strong.”
Burt won’t have to look far when it comes to support for her new role.
Her older sister Katie coached the Dogs to the 2016 flag, in between grand-final winning stints from Sue Fleming, who stepped down after this year’s triumph.
“I’m nervous, but very excited,” the new leader said.
“I’ve got big shoes to fill too, with Katie and Sue coaching the last three years (between them).
“I’m definitely a bit nervous, but I’m good friends with all the girls, so it should be okay.”
Burt coached the Dogs’ 15 and under side the past two seasons, sharing the role with Jess Haberfield in 2016, and also mentored Mininera and District club Woorndoo-Mortlake’s 17 and under team “a good six years ago”, as well as coaching Deakin University’s B grade team.
But her new role at her adopted home of the past three years will be the Mortlake netballers’ first top-grade gig.
Burt has taken out the past two club A grade netball best and fairest awards at Dennington.