Ballina coach to miss the big one
BALLINA RSL netball coach Maureen Clarke will be missing in action for the Far North Coast Premier League grand final against Clarence Coast this afternoon.
Clarke, a teacher, will be on an 'in-service' training day in Sydney while her young charges play the championship decider at the Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre.
Other teams might get spooked having their coach missing at such a crucial time, but Ballina has done it before.
Captain Amie Clarke will step into the breach as she did earlier in the season against, of all teams, Clarence Coast.
“I'll think we will cope without her, but it will be hard knowing no one is sitting on the sideline looking at the whole team,” Amie Clarke said.
“She was gone once before against the same team and we played really well, so step aside, Maureen.”
While the coach knows her team will be in good hands, it doesn't make it any easier for her to miss the game.
“Amie is a very good reader of the game and she is very articulate, I just hope it doesn't affect her game,” Maureen Clarke said.
“But, absolutely, I am disappointed to be missing the game and I want text messages at the end of every quarter.”
Clarke will leave her team with a pretty simple game plan.
“I'd like them to be strong and determined and to lead the way, and for them to be chasing us and having to adjust to our game plan,” she said.
Aside from her captain, Clarke has tipped centre Alex Lee and shooter Lauren Scully to have a big influence on the outcome of the grand final.
When the teams last met, in the major semi-final two weeks ago, Ballina RSL won 53-47.
The game today will start at 3.30pm.