By LIAM DURKIN
MOE netballers will have a familiar face calling the shots next season, with Ramayer Gourley appointed coach of the Lions A Grade side.
Gourley will make the transition from playing assistant coach to the top job, taking over from the departing Peter Moody.
Moody leaves after spending four years at the helm, during which time Moe won a premiership (2018), made a preliminary final (2019) and claimed the minor premiership this season to go with an overall win-rate of 75 per cent.
Gourley came to the Lions this season, in what was a huge coup for the club given her credentials and standing as one of the best players in the Gippsland League.
The defender previously played for Traralgon, where she won no shortage of league awards, including grand final best on court honours twice and a place in the leagues team of the year four times.
Adding to that, she also represented Vic Fury in the Australian Netball League.
In taking on the role, Gourley said she was looking forward to what was ahead.
“I’m very excited, I haven’t been an A Grade coach or head coach anywhere so I’m really keen,” she said.
“I loved my first season here, we had a really good year and the girls were really lovely and welcoming … I really like the culture that they’ve built.
“I think that’s really important to me to keep up the integrity of what we’re putting out there for the club.”
With Moody indicating this would be his last season, Gourley said a transition plan had been in the works for virtually the entire 2021 season.
“Pete and I discussed it pretty early on that it was an option (me coaching) and we’ve been touching base all through the season trying to prepare for it,” she said.
“He knew he wanted to take a step back – he was travelling heaps.”
The new coach said she would be looking to draw on her experiences playing under high profile coaches such as Kristy Birrell and Elissa Kent in helping the team further along.
“I love taking drills that I’ve learnt in Melbourne and bringing them down here,” she said.
“It is really rewarding for the girls once they get it.”
Given the common football adage determines that those who played in the back pocket end up making the best coaches because they’ve seen the whole field, it will be interesting to see if the same applies in netball considering Gourley’s position in the defensive third.
In preparing for season 2022, Gourley said she would be expecting her charges to play with what she described as “relentless intensity”.
There might be an interesting authority-dynamic at Moe next season, with Ramayer set to coach her sister Taylin.
The Lions new coach however said she didn’t expected there to be too much drama.
“We’re pretty chill and I pretty much do it (coach her) all the time anyway,” she said laughingly.
It will be a coaching couple at Moe, as Gourley’s partner Declan Keilty was recently appointed the Lions new senior football coach.