North Central well represented in new VNL squads

These eight players and six others from the North Central region will play in the VNL next season.
These eight players and six others from the North Central region will play in the VNL next season.

FIFTEEN North Central region players have won a spot on Victorian Netball League club lists for 2020.

Nine netballers will play in the open division, while six will be involved at 19-and-under level.

The squads for all 10 VNL clubs were finalised on the weekend.

Boroondara Express is the most popular destination for the North Central brigade with six players set to line-up in teal.

They are last season's championship players Ashley Ryan (Eaglehawk) and Clare Vearing (Gisborne), division one representatives Ruby Barkmeyer, Chelsea Sartori and Abbey Ryan, and newcomer Sophie Shoebridge, who has crossed from Geelong Cougars.

Shoebridge, one of the stars of Sandhurst's 2019 BFNL A-grade premiership win, was last season named in the VNL 19-and under team of the season following an outstanding season in Geelong.

Star Elmore goal attack Barkmeyer, Kangaroo Flat's 2019 best and fairest Sartori and star Eaglehawk goaler Abbey Ryan were team-mates in the Express' division one team last season, which reached the grand final.

A mainstay at Melbourne University Lightning in recent years, Gisborne's Maddy Stewart will remain with the club in 2020, as will second-year 19-and-under player Claire Oakley, from Kyneton.

The star defender and 2018 Betty Thompson Medal winner as the BFNL's best and fairest enjoyed fine seasons with both her VNL and Bendigo league clubs again in 2019.

City West Falcons and North East Blaze will have three North Central region players apiece on their rosters.

Best on court in City West Falcons' 2018 championship division grand final victory, Zoe Davies will again be part of the open squad.

She is joined at Falcons by 19-and-under players Chloe Langley, from South Bendigo, and Gisborne's Olivia Rodda.

Langley, the BFNL's netball rising star award winner in 2019, was a member of the Falcons team which won the 19-and-under premiership this season.

A big year for the Castlemaine-based player included representing Victoria at the national 17-and-under championships.

Rodda's selection comes a month after the talented Gisborne youngster shared the Sing Medal as the BFNL's 17-and-under best and fairest with Sandhurst's Tess Keating.

A division one premiership player in 2019, Meg Williams is back with North East Blaze, where she is joined by her Sandhurst team-mate Ruby Turner and Gisborne's Keara Fitzgerald.

A BFNL 17-and under league best and fairest in 2018 and fifth in in this season's award, Gisborne's Charlotte Crook will line up with Hawks' 19-and-under team.

A stellar season for North Central netballers in the VNL saw three players named in league team of the years.

They were Shoebridge and Fitzgerald in the 19-and-under team, and Barkmeyer in division one.

North Central VNL representatives

Boroondara Express: Ruby Barkmeyer, Abbey Ryan, Ashley Ryan, Chelsea Sartori, Sophie Shoebridge, Clare Vearing (open).

City West Falcons: Zoe Davies (open), Chloe Langley, Olivia Rodda (19-and-under).

Hawks Netball: Charlotte Crook (19-and-under).

Melbourne University Lightning: Maddy Stewart (open squad), Claire Oakley (19-and-under).

North East Blaze: Meg Williams (open), Keara Fitzgerald, Ruby Turner (19-and-under).

This story North Central well represented in new VNL squads first appeared on Bendigo Advertiser.