Towners on the rise in strong start to 2024

May 23, 2024 BY

Newtown skipper Julia Woolley continues to lead her side in 2024. Photos: MARCEL BERENS/SPORTS MEDIA IMAGES

A COMPLETELY overhauled attacking third has not slowed down Newtown & Chilwell’s 2024 campaign as the Eagles enjoy the bye week before a tough two-week stretch commences.

The Eagles, led by second-year co-coaches Andrew McInerney and Kath Nutt, have again led the club to a strong start in the Geelong Netball League (GNL) season.

The Towners have dropped one game through six rounds, to fellow top four side St Joseph’s, but have otherwise remained perfect despite losing key attackers Zanna Woods and Uneeq Palavi.

“We also had to replace a midcourter as well, but luckily for us we’ve also had a couple of players come back after giving birth in Danielle Mather and Vanessa Augustini,” McInerney said.

“While we’ve lost some experience, we have an abundance of young talent coming through the ranks as well, which will also help with the transition of a new wave of players.

“We’re growing nicely this season in particular, and our result last week against Bell Park is evidence of that. If we can play our style of netball, we’ll be hard to beat.”

New recruit Mikaela Vaughn has also provided some crucial assistance up the scoring end, converting on 71 goals from 88 attempts in her three games.

McInerney confirmed Vaughn is not a weekly player. Instead, she will play when available, alternating between commitments at Newtown and Victorian Netball League side Melbourne University Lightning.

The Eagles’ regular forward pair will be captain Julia Woolley and Alex Booker.


Eagles youngster Olivia Powell is part of Newtown’s new wave of talented netballers.


Newtown & Chilwell will have a chance to test their mettle on the other side of this weekend’s bye, going up against the last two remaining undefeated sides Geelong West and South Barwon.

McInerney said her side was eager to refine its processes as the season took shape, with the Eagles motivated by consecutive Grand Final losses in 2022 and 2023.

“For right now, we’re looking forward to some rest, so our players can get their bodies right.

“But once we get back into it, preparing for Geelong West and South Barwon, the priorities are the same; it all starts with defence.

“It’s not one or two players, it’s how we play as a team. It’s team defence, that’s how you win matches.”

Newtown’s contest with Geelong West next week in Round 7 will take place at West Oval, before the side heads home to Elderslie Reserve in Round 8 to play South Barwon.