BY HOLLY SLATTERY
A YOUNG team brimming with fresh faces will usher in a bold new era for Bond University in netball’s Ruby Series.
Ten new players and seven training partners are spearheading the campaign.
Head coach Kim Boland says the focus for the season - starting April 25 - will be about creating a positive club and team environment.
“From when we first started this year, our goal has been to rebuild our program and create a really good culture,” Boland said.
“We were late forming our team but we are happy to start from scratch with a whole new side.
“They’re really fit, they’re really keen, and they just want to learn and compete.
“Obviously we want to be in the finals, but the reward at the end of the day for me is going to be creating that culture and rebuilding Bond netball.
“We’re starting to rebuild bit by bit.”
The 15-year coach had an overwhelming pool of talent with over 80 girls trialling for the team last month.
It is all about establishing a strong pathway to ensure sustainable success.
“I think if we don’t start developing these young ones now, we have no future,” she said.
“It’s really good to start bleeding in these young, fit, talented players into this competition now so for three, four, five years down the track, hopefully we’ll get our Sapphire Series license back and they’ll be our new Sapphire players.
“We went from 80 down to 35 for the second trial, and from that we needed to get down to 15 but I ended up picking a 22-person squad because we had so much talent.
“This is our fourth year in the franchise and we’ve attracted a lot of young girls because we’ve won the past two years in the 16 years and 18 years programs at state titles.
“They know what Bond is like and they’ve seen the success that the 16s and 18s programs have brought.
“It is a really competitive competition and will require a really high standard of play from the girls.
“There are a number of strong teams that we’ll be playing against so it’s very exciting.”
Boland hopes to announce a captain and vice-captain ahead of the Bull Sharks’ first game against USC Thunder on May 1.