Junior Blues Under 12 Girls Update
Our double bottom age program initiated by inaugural South East Melbourne Phoenix NBL Head Coach Simon Mitchell, has again struck gold! For the second time in Frankston Blues’ history we have had two teams in the same age group qualify for the Victorian Championship (VC) level of the MUVJBL!
Our Under 12.1 & 12.2 girls teams, led by age group Head Coach Natalie Porter have both qualified for VC. Nat has been ably assisted with this cohort for the third year now by long time and well respected MUVJBL coaches Meredith McFarlane and Sue Hladky. We would like to acknowledge this outstanding achievement and congratulate the coaches and the players for all of their hard work in earning this. To add a cherry on top, our Under 12.3s have qualified in VJL1 and our 12.4s in VJL2 under the watchful eye of Scott McFarlane and Paul Groat respectively. To round that off, our 12.5s coached by former Blues VC Championship winning player Rebecca Lanting qualified in VJL3. It’s worth noting that 21 players out of our 12.3s, 12.4s and 12.5s are bottom age, so we are in excellent shape for the coming 2019-20 season.
For the bulk of the two VC teams this is their third season being mentored by Natalie and Meredith. On top of their skills improving they have learned how to play tough, be resilient, be respectful and follow instructions. They’ve also learned how to make decisions and be accountable for their actions. On top of this, they have had a lot of fun too!
We actively recruited some talented players out of our highly successful FDBA domestic program, which is currently at capacity, to round out this cohort. Players develop at different rates and just because a player isn’t ready to join Blues as a double bottom age player this does not mean that they won’t be ready a year or two down the track.
Our 12.1 girls have a genuine chance to win VC this year as do our 14.1 girls, who are also working hard to qualify for the U14 National Club Championships in Ballarat in October.
Our current crop of double bottom age girls are being mentored by Frankston’s own WNBL player Steph Reid. Steph is being assisted by NBL1 Blues players Abby Chernishoff and Tori Jackson. They are a ripper group with a ton of tenacity. Quite a few solid domestic players narrowly missed a spot on this team and no doubt have been working hard, getting ready for the next lot of tryouts in October. They will be looking to prove the selectors wrong for not picking them this season, and I hope they do!
Our next crop of double bottom age hopefuls have been selected from the FDBA domestic competition and have just completed a three week training block.
The Blues junior girls base has never been in better shape than it is right now. The double bottom age program has proven its worth, and with so many excellent coaches committed to the development of our junior girls, the sky is the limit.
Kerryn Mitchell – Blues Under 12/14 Girls Coordinator