A CHANGE of coaches at Warrnambool and District league club Dennington has brought back a familiar face and provided a Hampden league club with a star player.
Melissa Burt will play for Terang Mortlake in 2019, having stood down as coach of Dennington after one year in the job.
She will be replaced at Dennington by non-playing coach Josie Bolden.
Both Bolden and Burt have played key roles for the Dogs during their most successful era, which included a premiership three-peat from 2015-17.
The Dogs were runners-up in 2018.
Bolden helped lay the foundation for this extended run of excellence, leading the Dogs to a grand final and preliminary final in her last stint as A grade coach in 2012-13.
Burt played in the 2016-17 premiership teams and coached the Dogs in their grand final loss to Nirranda in 2018.
She was also coach of the Deakin University A grade team.
The decision to leave Dennington and wear the Terang Mortlake colours is one Burt said she had made with furthering her netball in mind.
“This will be the first time I have played Hampden league,” Burt said.
“I just really want to challenge myself a bit more and see how I go at that next level.”
Terang Mortlake is coming off a tough 2018, a season where it finished in ninth place on the ladder with two wins.
The Bloods will again be coached by Lisa Arundell, with the presence of the experienced mentor influencing Burt’s decision to play at the club.
“I have a few friends at Terang Mortlake who I played with at Deakin University,” Burt said.
“I also sat down with Lisa for a chat and I was really impressed with the direction she has laid out.”
Burt, who can play at both ends of the court, said she was happy to play whatever role suited the team.
The 25-year-old said she was looking forward to a break from coaching.
“I have been coaching at some level for the last seven years and I have really enjoyed it and learnt a lot,” she said.
“But it will be good to just concentrate on playing and help Terang Mortlake improve and play great netball.”