Eagles and Hawks clash on court | Mininera and District Netball Association

ATTACK: Ararat Eagles player Holly Leggett snares the ball against Lismore-Derrinallum during the 2017 season. Picture: Peter Pickering
ATTACK: Ararat Eagles player Holly Leggett snares the ball against Lismore-Derrinallum during the 2017 season. Picture: Peter Pickering

The Ararat Eagles’ start to the season won’t be easy when they host 2017 grand finalist Tatyoon in their season opener on Saturday.

The Hawks will again likely be a formidable team in 2018 with the Eagles set to take a new look team into the season.

Both teams have a new coach, so game style could be different but the Hawks will go into the match as heavy favourites to get the points to successfully start the new season.

With so many personnel changes to the Eagles’ team on the court, it will take a few weeks for players to build the chemistry required to match it with the association’s better teams but the team will not want a blow-out on the scoreboard.

Eagles coach Holly Leggett said they expect a tough game against the experienced Tatyoon team.

“We think it will be a very tough game, it is always is against Tatyoon,” she said.

“It will be a big eye-opener, Tatyoon is the sort of team you want to play to see what you have to work on early on in the season.

“They are going to show all the flaws in any team.”

With such a potent shooting combination for the Hawks, the Eagles will need to play a possession based game if they are to combat that.

Leggett said the team will need to be switched on defensively to restrict the Hawks’ scoring ability.

“I can see us having to keep the ball down our end and play a defensive game if we are to be a chance,” she said.

“But realistically, it would be good just to keep up with them, they play such a clean game of netball.”

Leggett said she has settled on the starting team for the match after some late changes.

“Jess Wright is filling in for us on the defensive end which is a big help to us,” she said.

“I am putting myself in goals for the game which allows us to put Genesis Rameka  into the defensive third.

“She can read the play really well and her reach in defence will definitely be an advantage.”

The A Grade match-up is set for a 3pm start at Alexandra Oval.