Strike up a win for local netball

August 25, 2023 BY

Game on: Regular, high-level netball will be back on court at Red Energy Arena next year with the Bendigo Strikers confirmed to be joining the Victoran Netball League. Photo: DAVID CROSLING/ AAP IMAGE

BENDIGO will have a team in the state’s top-tier netball competition, with the Strikers confirmed as participants in the 2024 Victorian Netball League.

The Bendigo Strikers will join the existing regional side the Geelong Cougars in the Championship division, while a third regional team, the Gippsland Stars, will put a 23 and under side on court next year.

A statement from Netball Victoria said the Gippsland side would be playing in the Championship by 2027.

At the same time a third new team called the Western Warriors and based in Melton will also join the top-level comp next year, expanding that roster of sides from 10 to 12.

“We are excited to welcome three new clubs to the Victorian Netball League following a highly competitive application process,” said Netball Victoria CEO Andrea Pearman.

“The inclusion of these clubs will ensure more athletes, coaches and officials from regional Victoria and north-western Melbourne are represented in our premier competition and showcase the exceptional talent and passion for netball in those regions.

“We thank all the applicants for their commitment to the licensing process, which was reflected in the high quality of applications received and which gives us great confidence in the passion and capability of our Victorian netball community.”

The push for the Bendigo Strikers to take part in the VNL was publicly launched in June this year, with a local contingent including former Australian Diamond and Melbourne Vixen goaler Caitlin Thwaites acting as bid ambassador.