Merrivale recruit Jocelyn Bail is loving her new surroundings as she builds a strong attacking partnership with up-and-coming talent Chloe Lovell.
While just one game into life at the Tigers under A Grade coach Elisha Sobey, the former Kolora-Noorat netballer looms as a key in the Good Friday clash against Jemmah Lynch's Old Collegians in the Warrnambool and District league.
After taking a few years off from the sport to pursue other interests and focus on work, the experienced campaigner is relishing the opportunity to return to the game she loves after missing the social outlet.
"I completely stepped away from netball - with COVID I didn't play over that time (after 2019) and primarily spent my time doing my own thing," she said.
"During COVID I really did miss the social outlet of sport, so not having any social sport it was really challenging for me and so this year I made a challenge to return to the game to be around groups of people."
She said a chance meeting with Sobey was the catalyst for her decision to join the club this season.
"Elisha reached out, I think the end of last year and wanted to see if I wanted to play - I didn't know, and then I got married in January this year and called into Star Printing not knowing that's where she worked, so we had some conversations about the wedding and we spoke about netball leisurely," she said.
"It was really out of the blue, and I ended up going down for a run and had lots of fun.
"The group is really enjoyable, they've been really welcoming and inviting."
The goalie played a strong game to kickstart life with her new team in round one, contributing strongly in the win against Timboon Demons. She said she was impressed by what she saw from the new-look squad.
"I'm just enjoying having fun together and learning together," she said.
"This year there's a lot of new girls in the side so we're still learning as a group - we're all super responsible and respectable and communicate.
"I dare say we'll get better and stronger the more time we spend together."
The attacking relationship being built with up-and-comer Chloe Lovell - who is one to watch in coming years - is already another ominous threat for opposition sides.
"It's been good - I'm a vocal attacker and like to talk a lot, and Chloe's been so receptive," she said.
"She's open to feedback and learning, and we move well together - we're still learning together but importantly we have lots of fun.
"Even in round one when we got things wrong through the game we were both super encouraging and that's awesome to play alongside someone like that."
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