WANL 2020

Updated: Jul 2


As many of the unknowns from recent months start to wane, the easing of COVID-19 restrictions by our Government has lead to the resumption of community sport. Excitingly, this means the 2020 Gold Industry Group WA Netball League (WANL) can also commence, albeit later than initially planned. Round 1, scheduled for May 29th was ultimately postponed and will now be starting this Friday, July 3rd.


The impact of COVID-19 has amounted to increased workload required behind the scenes from Netball WA and each of the clubs to ensure a season could go ahead. Logistically, there have been many changes for the season, including limitations to courts, spectators and time within the venue – just to name a few.


However, we know that all the West Coast Thunder athletes and their respective teams/clubs are eager to kick off their season and return to playing competitive netball in the highest domestic league WA has to offer. We caught up with one member of each of the four Men’s clubs (Curtin Hamersley Comets, Southside Demons, Western Roar and West Coast Warriors) to ask them a few questions about the interrupted build-up, the season ahead, their teammates and opposition as well as a bold pre-season ladder prediction.

Blake Smith (Comets)



Blake’s competitive netball journey began in 2017, trialling and making his first representative team with the Thunder Mixed Open team. From there, Blake’s netball ‘career’ has flourished; successfully making Thunder teams every year since (Men’s Reserve – 2018, Mixed Reserve – 2019 and Men’s Reserve 2020). Locally, Blake’s WANL journey began with the reintroduction of the Men's division in 2018, playing for the Wheatbelt Flames. Moving to Southside Demons in 2019, Blake is currently signed on with the Curtin Hamersley Comets for the 2020 Men’s WANL season. Blake's thoughts on what the 2020 season will bring are below;


1. Given COVID-19 how has your preparation been for WANL 2020?

It started out hard not having pre-season trainings to attend. Started by setting myself weekly goals with the Yo-Yo and worked at achieving each week. Once Comets pre-season running sessions started it made it a lot easier to become more motivated for the season ahead.


2. What are you most excited about for the season ahead?

I’m stoked to see the new player additions to WANL this season! It’s great to see new faces and the men’s game growing. Looking forward to a super competitive and balanced competition.

3. Who is someone in your team to watch?

Jack Davis: Jack is one of the Thunder 17&U boys who has come onboard with the Curtin Hamersley Comets this year. His speed, agility and overall ability to learn so quickly has been exciting to watch at trainings. Always looking to learn and always implementing a coaches feedback immediately. Hopefully see him hit the court this season! Watch this space!

4. First name that comes to mind from your men's team;

  1. Funniest: Mitchell Walker

  2. Quirkiest: Elliot Clark

  3. Most Serious: Ian Brady

  4. Loudest: Griff Thomas

  5. Quietest: Jack Davis


5. Toughest opponent (individual and team)?

Individual- Dale Mather; His smarts and ability to not give up on a play makes him dangerous down in defense.

Team- Western Roar; Deep, talented and youth filled roster! Exciting team to watch.


6. Season predictions?

a) Ladder

  1. Comets

  2. Roar

  3. Warriors

  4. Demons


b) Grand Final Winner & Margin

Curtin Hamersley Comets (46) def Western Roar (44)


7. If you could play with one men's athlete from another club who would it be & why?

Tough question! There are so many players I aspire to in different ways! Probably Dylan McPherson. His knowledge and ability to share it with others is second to none! Last year during Thunder trials I was lucky enough to be playing GS with Dylan at C in a scratch match. His direction, feeds and netball brain left me learning a stack from just a few trial games.

Gavin Domjahn (Southside Demons)


Gavin has played within State programs for a number of years, representing WA and South Australia in various Men's teams prior to 2016. More recently, Gavin's journey re-ignited in 2018, playing in the WA Netball League alongside Blake (above) at the Wheatbelt Flames, also moving to Southside Demons in 2019 and continuing with the club for the 2020 season. Within our Thunder program, Gavin joined in 2019 selected and representing WA in the Mixed Open division. In 2020 Gavin trialled and was selected as part of our Men's Reserve team. Gavin's thoughts on what the 2020 season will bring are below;


1. Given COVID-19 how has your preparation been for WANL 2020?

Preparation has been hard as keeping motivated to do things on my own hasn't sometimes been the easiest thing. I have changed the way I approach training though by adding in a stretching program and cycling which has certainly helped a lot.


2. What are you most excited about for the season ahead?

I'm excited to see how all the teams go with changes amongst all four teams in different areas. I feel like it will be a tight competition, which will be a great way to showcase men's netball especially with some young up and coming players in some of the squads.


3. Who is someone in your team to watch?

Max Denholm is a new and young player to men's all together. He isn't in the thunder program yet but he has shown a lot of promise from the start of preseason.


4. First name that comes to mind from your men's team;

  1. Funniest: Dale Mather

  2. Quirkiest: Dale Mather

  3. Most Serious: Boyd Berryman

  4. Loudest: Dale Mather

  5. Quietest: Boyd Berryman & Max Denholm


5. Toughest opponent (individual and team)?

Mitch walker quick on his feet and strong on with his body. I always have to work hard against him.

Warriors they always manage to make it work where ever they need. It's never a easy game.

6. Season predictions?

a) Ladder

  1. Warriors

  2. Comets

  3. Demons

  4. Roar

b) Grand Final Winner & Margin

Curtin Hamersley Comets def West Coast Warriors by 2

7. If you could play with one men's athlete from another club who would it be & why?

Mitch Cook, he would be a great addition to our defensive end with his height and read of play.

Daniel Cools (Western Roar)


Daniel began his competitive netball journey with West Coast Thunder in 2016, where he made the Men's Open team and has maintained his position every year since. A formidable defender, his game has grown from strength to strength with each additional year under his belt. Locally, Dan began with WANL in 2018 alongside the re-introduction of the Men's division at Perth Lions. In 2019, under the new licenses Perth Lions were renamed the Western Roar, where Dan continues to play to this day. Dan's thoughts on what the 2020 season will bring;

1. Given COVID-19 how has your preparation been for WANL 2020?

My preparation has been unusual in short. I am a pretty active person so the little break off the court gave me a chance to work on a few things I haven’t had the time for. I really got stuck back into running and cycling. I am lucky enough to work at a Recreation Centre so access to equipment was really handy during shut down. I focused a lot on strength work recently so hope that pays dividends during the season. Since hitting the court a few weeks ago I think we are travelling pretty nicely considering the long layoff. Although it would have been nice to fine tune a few things with the new players, I think having a similar playing group to the previous seasons will really help come round one.


2. What are you most excited about for the season ahead?

I am really excited to just start playing netball again. Coming off a canceled nationals it just feels like an eternity since I last played a competitive match. Getting those match day vibes is probably the thing I am looking forward to the most.


3. Who is someone in your team to watch?

I think Connor Rawlings is a very exciting player to watch. He is one of the best up and coming mid-courters who I have played with for three seasons now. Watching him grow each year I think he is ready to break out to the next level. He offers such dynamic movement and I am starting to see all aspects of his game coming together nicely.


4. First name that comes to mind from your men's team;

  1. Funniest: Mitch Purser

  2. Quirkiest: Daniel Ross

  3. Most Serious: Dylan McPherson

  4. Loudest: Dylan McPherson

  5. Quietest: Robert King

5. Toughest opponent (individual and team)?

Individual: Jerome Gillbard

Team: West Coast Warriors

6. Season predictions?

a) Ladder

  1. Western Roar

  2. West Coast Warriors

  3. Curtin Hamersley Comets

  4. Southside Demons

b) Grand Final Winner & Margin

Western Roar defeats West Coast Warriors by 8 Goals

7. If you could play with one men's athlete from another club who would it be & why?

Whilst not at another club this year, it would have to be Dravyn Lee-Tauroa. He is just such a valuable player. His ability to change a game always amazes me. Add in the fact he can play almost anywhere on court he just has so much to offer to a team.

Will White (West Coast Warriors)


Will is relatively new to the state and WANL scene, beginning WANL with the Warriors in 2019. He had a ripper opening season, working his way across all three of the defensive positions and going on to win the Men's grand final in his first year. Following that success, Will joined our Thunder 23&U team for our 2020 trip to the AMMNA Championships in Adelaide, however with COVID-19 hitting we were unable to travel and compete. An exciting up and coming talent, certainly one to watch for the future. Here is what Will thinks the 2020 Men's division will bring;

1. Given COVID-19 how has your preparation been for WANL 2020?

COVID-19 has definitely had a pretty significant impact on my WANL preparation. While I was able to maintain a decent level of fitness through our Warriors home training program, we obviously haven’t been able to train on court as a team as much as we would’ve liked. This just means I’m working even harder during the little time we do have on court in order to be as match ready as possible for the season start.

2. What are you most excited about for the season ahead?

I’m most excited to get back out on court in front of a crowd. I love playing in front of people and the atmosphere it brings. Hopefully some more of my friends from outside of netball can make it down and appreciate how great the sport is.


3. Who is someone in your team to watch?

Scott Austen is definitely one to watch in the Warriors men’s team. His game sense and raw talent are incredible and the way he translates them onto court always proves for an entertaining watch.


4. First name that comes to mind from your men's team;

  1. Funniest: Teresa Newton

  2. Quirkiest: David Aylmore

  3. Most Serious: Mike Bawden

  4. Loudest: Matt Brown

  5. Quietest: Jonah Ness


5. Toughest opponent (individual and team)?

Team wise, that would have to be Roar. Individually, that would be Dylan McPherson. His intensity, experience and leadership make him very tough to play against.

6. Season predictions?

a) Ladder

  1. Roar

  2. Warriors

  3. Comets

  4. Demons

b) Grand Final Winner & Margin

Western Roar def. Curtin Hamersley Comets by 10


7. If you could play with one men's athlete from another club who would it be & why?

If I could play with one men’s athlete from another club it would have to be James King from Roar. We played circle defense together at Thunder and built a great connection there. He’s also a fun person to be around who always keeps a positive attitude.

A video of the previous WANL Men's Grand finals can be found below;


2018

2019


Stay tuned for our updates after the first couple of rounds! More information around the season can be found at the links below;


Netball WA

Curtin Hamersley Comets

Southside Demons

Western Roar

West Coast Warriors

326 views

WCMMNA Newsletter

  • Instagram