Tasmanian Magpies to deliver better netball in the state

STATES UNITED: Tasmanian Magpies, with assistant coach Claire Dennis (far right), line up for the national anthem before the 2018 ANL grand final in Canberra. Pictures:  Sitthixay Ditthavong
STATES UNITED: Tasmanian Magpies, with assistant coach Claire Dennis (far right), line up for the national anthem before the 2018 ANL grand final in Canberra. Pictures: Sitthixay Ditthavong

Nearly a fortnight since jubilant celebrations calmed down, Tasmanian Magpies’ historic win in the Australian Netball League grand final are expected to have serious benefits for the state. 

Tasmanian assistant coach Claire Dennis pointed out that the two-goal victory over Canberra Giants will change the aspirations of the game’s stakeholders and supporters.

For years, Tassie Spirit had never ascended higher than sixth in the ANL competition.

But the decision at the end of 2015 to abandon the Spirit program and affiliate with new Super Netball club Collingwood Magpies from 2017 has turned things around in just the second season of a three-year deal.

CENTRE OF ATTENTION: Winnaleah-raised Kelsie Rainbow leads for the ball against Canberra Giants.

CENTRE OF ATTENTION: Winnaleah-raised Kelsie Rainbow leads for the ball against Canberra Giants.

“I think Netball Tasmania has to appreciate the partnership and the pathway we’ve now got,” Dennis said.

“For our junior players growing up, what a fantastic opportunity that lies ahead for those who want to take it.”

The subtle dig at Netball Tasmania to ride the coattails of the Magpies’ success comes after earlier public criticism that its Tasmanian ANL side was a Melbourne side that left homegrown players on the sidelines. 

“To put a team together from Melbourne and Tasmania had some challenges,” Dennis said. “We’ve definitely overcome that and it’s a credit to everyone involved.”