Kendyl Hopley marks 150th match as coach at Golden Square

by Nathan Dole

GOLDEN Square coach Kendyl Hopley reaches a significant milestone in this Saturday’s fifth round of A-grade netball action in the Bendigo Bank Bendigo Football Netball League.

Hopley becomes the second coach in the 28-year history of netball at Golden Square FNC to reach game 150.

The club’s games record for netball coach is held by Deb Symes, who is now coaching Maryborough in A-grade action.

A serious knee injury sustained in the 2007 finals series put Hopley off the court, temporarily.

She first started coaching at Golden Square in 2008.

In her first season, Hopley coached A-reserve to a grand final appearance and she was assistant coach for the Kath Basilewsky-coached A-grade premiership team.

After a break for maternity leave, Hopley returned to A-reserve for the 2012 season and another grand final appearance.

The club went on to achieve a rare feat of A-reserve premierships in 2014, ’15 and ’16.

In 2018, Hopley was appointed as A-grade coach.

The club retained just one player from the A-grade line-up of the previous season.

Another of Golden Square’s netball coaches and long-time club member, Melinda Keighran praised Hopley’s commitment to help the A-grade team rebuild and improve.

“The leadership Kendyl provides is invaluable and will no doubt help Golden Square return as a powerhouse in the Bendigo Football Netball League,” Keighran said.

All Bendigo FNL clubs and AFL Central Victoria have thrown their support towards mental health research and treatment through Beyond Blue Round.

Golden Square does have home-court advantage when it takes on Maryborough at Fur Life Vet Oval in Wade Street.

It’s been a winless start for Square, which is fielding a young A-grade team.

In their latest hit-out, the blue and gold were beaten, 43-28, by South Bendigo at Wade Street.

The challenge does not become easier against a Maryborough line-up determined to improve on its 1-2 win-loss record.

Maryborough scored an eight-goal victory against South Bendigo in their first-round match at the QEO.

Since then the Magpies have had a bye, lost at home to Eaglehawk by 16 goals, and then went down to the formidable Sandhurst by 28 goals in the fourth round at the QEO.

Match of the day is at Canterbury Park where Eaglehawk takes on Sandhurst.

The Hawks’ run so far is win, draw, win, bye.

Sandhurst is unbeaten as it chases a hat-trick of A-grade premierships.

There will be plenty of exciting match-ups as the Hawks try to end Sandhurst’s hot form.

Key players for Eaglehawk include joint coach Allira Holmes, Abbey and Ashley Ryan.

Sandhurst’s team was strengthened by the return of joint coach Heather Oliver to mid-court or attack, and by Brianna Dalrymple-Monro in the centre.

Imogen Sexton and Meg Williams have starred in Sandhurst’s streak.

South Bendigo faces Gisborne at Harry Trott Oval in Neale Street, Kennington.

It was a far more consistent effort across four quarters as South Bendigo triumphed at Golden Square last Saturday.

The Bloods’ draw at Eaglehawk on Good Friday was a sign it’s a team that cannot be taken lightly.

A key for South’s chances of beating Gisborne will be limiting the impact that Maddy Stewart, last season’s Betty Thompson medallist, and Clare Vearing have on the contest.

Strathfieldsaye takes on Kyneton at Triple M Park in Tannery Lane.

In its most recent appearance at home, Strathfieldsaye won the round three clash with Golden Square by 11 goals.

The Kyneton Tigers will be desperate to bank the four premiership points after a round one win at home was followed by a loss at Gisborne, bye, and then a nine-goal defeat inflicted by Kangaroo Flat at Tigerland.

Kangaroo Flat’s A-grade team has a rest this round, but the Roos will play Castlemaine in all other grades at Bendigo Mazda Oval in Dower Park.

Standings in the BFNL A-grade netball competition:

Sandhurst 179 per cent, 16 points; Gisborne 119, 16; Eaglehawk 124, 14; Kangaroo Flat 126, 8; Kyneton 115, 8; Maryborough 78, 8; South Bendigo 90, 6; Strathfieldsaye 75, 4; Golden Square 47, 0.

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