A1 | Here’s an update on the #MondayNightSquad

At Metro so far this season, we’ve only really provided updates on our Tuesday night teams. We have recently expanded to begin bringing you updates on how our U15 squads are going on Thursday nights, and we’re dedicated to providing in-depth breakdowns of any tournaments we send our representative squads to.

But you might not know about our Monday night team! So here’s a quick update.

Who’s playing?

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Mondays are hard, so we employ a fairly rotating cast of individuals to play in the squad. If you’re looking for an extra game a week, you could do worse than to play in the Monday night team, as they’re always in need of an extra fill-in. So far this season, we’ve had girls from Tuesday night teams, fill-ins from seasons past, Metro juniors playing key roles in defense and attack, and nearly everybody in between.

Tuesday night Division 4 player Gabby Bassi has been a constant, while Division 5 captain Emily Aitken has also played her part. U17-1 GK Alix Colafella has plied her trade in the defensive post for the Monday night team, while ex-Division 6 goaler Ella Hayes gets her shots up on a Monday night. Recently, Kelly Wood has played starring roles for the squad in GS, and Division 4 vice-captain Alanna Macuz uses the Monday night game as a warm-up for her Tuesday night competition. Cass McEwen, a staunch regular, is a constant presence in GD.

How are they doing?

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In as many words, not too bad. With a mainly unsettled line-up and different girls turning up to play every week, the team has enjoyed some good results and some bad ones. They currently sit 10th on the ladder with two wins from six games, but that’s before the ladder is updated with last night’s results, where they managed to snag a win against Melbourne University.
Coached by currently injured Division 4 WA Claire Macuz, the mix of younger and older players means development is the key, as everyone’s got something to learn.

What’s their most impressive win so far?

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Probably last night! The team – Alix Colafella, Gabby Bassi, Alanna Macuz, Kelly Wood, Ella Hayes, Aimee Harris and Cass McEwen – gave it to Melbourne University, who sat second on the ladder and had only lost one game for the year before last night.

The star was Wood – the GS kept the team in the game through the frenetic opening periods of the game, and played well with firstly Hayes, then Bassi, shooting at a nearly perfect clip. Hayes, who has scaled back her netball commitments due to her studies, provides a steady hand and a fearless approach to the netball court, putting her body on the line whenever necessary, and sometimes when it’s not necessary.

Colafella and McEwen had sensational games in the defensive third. Colafella’s rebounding has improved out of sight playing so many games of netball a week, and her body pressure constantly forces errors from other teams. McEwen’s ultra-consistent style of play has developed, and you could argue she never considers herself out of a contest, especially last night, where she racked up intercepts with her hands, feet and head.

With a rotating cast of midcourts, Macuz has been as constant as it gets, and the extra game of netball a week has allowed her to develop her fitness to a point where eight quarters of midcourt a week is no longer a pipedream. Last night saw inventive passing, intercepts and great reading of the play from the midcourter, and her play was major reason why the team was able to get over the line.

Bassi plays nearly every position on the court and does them all to a high level. The ultimate Allen key of a player, she is useful no matter where she goes, and hunts the netball like a woman possessed. Harris’ game was different to the style she has typically played, with four quarters spent in the midcourt. The 14-year-old acquitted herself well against women, placing her passes well and filling holes where required.

Anything else?

The team has probably been unlucky to lose as many games as they have. As previously mentioned, the inability to keep a core group together has hurt the chemistry of the team, as it’s like playing with a brand new set of girls every week. They’ve also lost two-thirds of the Macuz trio of sisters, with Claire injuring herself late last season in this competition, and Heidi tearing her ACL just under a month ago. This has meant losses to teams they should’ve beaten.

Despite all this, they’re now just a win out of being in finals contention. With ten games left in the season, there is still hope that there will be enough cohesion and team chemistry built in the next few months that the team can make a run at finals, where they’ve proven they can match it with the big girls.

Season statistics:

Current ladder position: 10th of 12 teams
Players used: 18 (Ella Hayes, Elise Paton, Sarah Flanagan, Cass McEwen, Alix Colafella, Maddy Agius, Elissa Servello, Heidi Macuz, Alanna Macuz, Emily Aitken, Gabby Bassi, Kelly Wood, Aimee Harris, Rebecca Francis, Scarlett Padden, Arabella Williams, Olivia Twining)
Players to play all games this season:(Alix Colafella & Cassandra McEwen)
Wins: 2 (against Melbourne Uni (2nd) & Westside (5th))

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