Young Giants keeping pace ahead of GNL finals push

July 5, 2024 BY

Geelong West captain and shooter Aleisha McDonald is excelling in her first season as skipper. Photos: PETER MARSHALL

A WELL-TIMED week off for Geelong West may provide the Giants a chance to reset, ahead of the run home to the Geelong Netball League (GNL) finals.

A Grade head coach Dale Smith said his side, who sit in fifth with six wins and four losses, had met its expectations to this point in 2024, despite the Giants suffering back-to-back losses and dropping four of its past five contests.

“We’re where I thought we’d be right now, the current top four sides are probably the ones that deserve to be there at the moment, but the competition is just so level this year.

“We’re still thereabouts in that finals mix, we have a really new group of girls, we lost some of our more senior players over the offseason, which has forced us to bring in some younger players.

“There are a lot of positives out of what we have achieved to this point this season, but there is still stuff for us to work on.”

Up next for the Giants are clashes at home against Leopold, away at Grovedale, and then at home again against St Mary’s – all of which are gettable games for Geelong West.

“We see the next few games as super critical and then we get into the back end of the year, going up against three of the current top four sides, so we need to be in top form by the middle of August,” Smith said.


Geelong West mid-courter Meg Matthews.


“If we aren’t there by then, it’s almost impossible to win a flag, let alone talk about one.”

The Giants fell to superior South Barwon and St Joseph’s teams in the past two games, but Smith said his team is in good hands under new captain Aleisha McDonald.

The A Grade squad has also welcomed contributions from its youngsters, including Sahirah Smith and Zara Kendall, while leaders such as Alahria Smith, Karina Martin and Nikita Handley have also boosted Geelong West’s talent stocks.

The July 13 clash against Leopold at West Oval Reserve begins at 1.40pm.