Bar Up Bullbars’ playmaker Rachael Addison has been rallying the troops for another blockbuster season, starting in early October.
She’s thankful to have coach and former under 18’s Australian player Andrew Wise back in action.
“At one stage we may have lost him, but we begged and begged, and got him on board,” Addison said.
“He knows the game better than anyone in Wagga. He’s always looking at what’s happening at the top level and then feeds new defensive plays and new attacking moves into our game. A lot of women’s coaches will say, well done, when you come off for a rest, but he’ll say, you did this well, you could have done this differently. He finds each person’s individual strength and works with it.”
Bullbars were runners-up and the only team to defeat heavyweights Don Tuckwells Audio last summer.
The squad improved out of sight.
“We finally got things together,” Addison said.
“We made the grand final, we wanted to keep the team together.”
Addison, one of the Bullbars’ most agile players, is in top condition after playing all winter for New Kids’ Aces and Wagga Tigers, but she’s no spring chicken. She just recovered from a mid-season shoulder injury that left her sidelined for a month.
“I’m starting to feel 38,” she said.
“I have to manage those niggling injuries.”
Bullbars welcome young blood into the squad, as sisters Bridget and Imogen Robertson join their campaign.
“They’re really strong additions,” Addison said.
“Our average age is a lot older than the other teams, they bring that average age down.”
Last season, Bullbars’ youngsters Sidonie Carroll and Mads Morton developed significantly, and they will play-on this season.
“Towards the end we gave them more of a run in the middle,” Addison said.
“It was good for their confidence. They’re both willing to learn, they really listen to Andrew Wise.”
Bullbars lose two of their best; Ella Finemore, as she moves away, and Virginia Baggio due to injury.
Finemore’s pace and skill in the middle will be missed, and Baggio’s experience, at 37, will be irreplaceable.
The Robertson sisters were team-less this season, as their former squad folded from A Grade.
Two teams that finished fifth and sixth, have folded, and four remain; Bullbars, Tuckies, AKW Jets and Young Guns.
“It’s really sad,” Addison said.
“We need to start developing these younger players, or maybe bring them up from the junior comp.”
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