Natives players Shannon Thorpe and Sharnie Narayan communicate well for ball possession against Blazers Kistee Corrigan.
Natives players Shannon Thorpe and Sharnie Narayan communicate well for ball possession against Blazers Kistee Corrigan. MAX FLEET

No division 1 Natives team in 2010

STRUGGLING Bundaberg Natives Netball Club is unlikely to field a team in the Bundaberg Netball Association division one competition, coach Daph Soppa said yesterday.

It will mark the first time in club history a Natives team would not compete in division one.

Soppa said the side may not find enough quality players to fill the team unless players from Gladstone returned to Bundaberg this season.

“We may be able to field a team but at this stage it is not looking likely,” she said.

Soppa said the club would have no trouble finding players to play next season, but a team would not be nominated in division one unless it was good enough to be competitive.

“If we can’t be competitive then there’s no real point in playing,” she said.

The move would bring the number of teams in the Bundaberg competition down to five.

“That would be a real disappointment for everyone in the competition,” Blazers founder Debbie Corrigan said.

“Natives has produced a lot of good players around Bundaberg and it would be a shame if they didn’t play a division one team.

“And we don’t want one less team in the competition.”

Soppa said the club’s inability to nurture young talent was the reason for its current precarious position.

“They don’t have the younger age groups coming through the club,” Soppa said.

“A lot of us used to coach the younger divisions but you’re not really getting that any more.

“They need the senior players helping out with coaching the juniors. Without the young players coming through the club can’t succeed.

“Bundaberg Netball needs the Natives club; they need all the clubs they can get.”

If Natives does not field a team next season, it could have far-reaching implications for the competition.

The club’s current players would warrant attention from any team looking to challenge Across the Waves next season.

“They’ve got three or four players who are going to be sought after by other teams,” Corrigan said.



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