Hayley Munro - My Redan Story
Where did you grow up and what are some of your earliest netball memories and highlights?
My primary school years were spent in Melbourne before moving to Warrnambool in Year 6. I mainly played basketball and didn’t seriously start playing netball until moving to Warrnambool through school teams before joining the Hampton League playing for Warrnambool.
My earliest memories is starting the day early and staying the whole day watching all the netball teams and players that I looked up to.
Did you play any Senior netball before joining Redan and were you lucky enough to play in a premiership?
Before joining Redan I mainly played junior netball and had a couple years in the A reserves team with Warrnambool. I was lucky enough to be part of a junior premiership team and runners up team alongside my current team mate Emma Henry.
You joined the club in 2007. Who or what was it that brought you to Redan and what were your first impressions of the club?
I started my University degree in 2006 and travelled back to Warrnambool for the first year. I lived on residents and had a few friends who played with Redan and didn’t want to continue travelling, so I joined in 2007.
Redan had a reputation of attracting a lot of Uni students and it wasn’t long to realise why. We had a great bunch of girls both locals and students which meant functions, Den sessions and netball trips were a lot of fun. I think once you join it’s pretty hard to leave.
Tell us about your first Senior Coach Kirsty O’Rourke and her strengths as a coach and motivator?
Kirsty, better known as Romsey, made an impression early as a coach. She was super organised and really knew how to develop a culture in the club where each player knew what they had to achieve their best. Trainings and fitness sessions were always fun and there was good comradery between all players.
At this stage it was difficult as we didn’t have a home court so we were training and playing all over Ballarat. I think all the coaches, netball coordinators and players did a fantastic job through this time with the lack of facilities.
Where you part of both the A Reserve Premiership sides of 2009 and 2012 and what are your memories of the win/s?
In 2009 I was a member of the A grade team but did get to experience success with the A Reserve team in 2012. For a long period of time Redan had a very strong A Reserve team, similar to the boys with reserves football. If you look back I think you would find that the A Reserve has been was involved in numerous Grand Finals, unfortunately a lot resulting in runners up.
This was the case for us in 2011, which was difficult when all the others teams were premiers. We had a strong team in 2012 and it was nice to able to win a premiership with girls like Emma Blomeley, Tiarni Beasley and Esse Cahir who had been involved at Redan as long as I had.
Did you play any matches with the A Grade side in season 2011 and what are your memories of that momentous win?
I wasn’t involved in the A grade side in 2011 but it was such a great win! We knew the girls in that team had the potential they just had to put it together and that’s what they did on grand final day.
Towards the end of the game I remember watching Kate, a pack of nerves and I think in a bit of shock that they had beaten Lakers. All the girls in the team deserved to win the first Senior Netball premiership for Redan and it was such a great weekend celebrating with them.
Describe the impact Kate McMahon had as senior coach on the side and your own netball?
Kate brings with her a level of experience and knowledge that is invaluable. She also sets high expectations. The first pre season training Kate took left girls thinking who is this drill sergeant! But having known Kate now for five years there is a methodical reason behind everything she does. Kate is fantastic at providing team and individual feedback and I have learnt a lot about my own game from her.
How much of a game changer was the introduction of the home court at the Netball court at the City Oval? How much more of a home court advantage do you feel it represented?
The introduction of the home court was huge not only for the netballers, but also the whole club. When I first started at Redan we would train at Sebastopol College with half the teams training in the theatre hall. Our games were either at Clarendon College or another club who had an away game.
This meant we were always separated from the footballers and the only supporters were other netballers. Having the home court has changed all this. We now feel part of the club and it makes it a lot easier. I think there is still room to improve the facilities for the netballers at Redan but hopefully this will come with time.
Who are the best five players you have played with at Redan and your toughest opponent?
That is a really hard question. I think over the past couple of years Emma Henry has cemented herself as one of the best defenders in the league. Emma Blomeley and Cass Hobbs as such competitors and you know when they are on the court they are going to give absolutely everything. Romsey was a great leader on the court and Phoebe Knox was probably one of the best players to come through Redan.
As a member of the A Grade side in 2016, where do you feel the side needs to improve if it is to build towards its second title?
2016 hasn’t been the best year for the Redan Netball Club and we have identified areas to improve on for coming years. We have some talented juniors coming through the under 18’s and three have been given the opportunity to play in A grade this year.
Developing these players for coming years will help boost or potential. This year we have shown that we are able to play good netball but it’s about consistently doing this each game for four quarters. With a solid pre season and training throughout 2017 I believe that can turn the results around from this year.
In a past interview for the Redan website you mentioned your biggest rivalry was with East Point, can you elaborate on this?
The netball competition of the BFL has really developed especially over the past few years. I think that every team we come across are our biggest rivalry. It’s always satisfying being competitive with or beating a club like East Point or Lakers as they are strong across all grades
Give us some insight into the role Jo Jess has played with Redan Netball since your time with the club?
When I first started playing at Redan Jo was our netball coordinator. Her bubbly personality and ability to get to know you made you feel welcome. When Jo moved on Emma Jess took over the role and she continued in exactly the same way.
Jo is passionate about Redan netball and even now it’s great having her on the sideline yelling out feedback during our games. People like Jo don’t come around often and her support at the netball, her role in the canteen or as a member of the ladies committee is invaluable.
You are a teacher for a living, where do you teach and what do you enjoy most about your job?
I am a teacher at Ballarat High School. I love working with people who have the same passion and teaching students my passion. It great seeing students succeed weather that is in their sporting pursuits or gaining an apprenticeship.
Have you coached during your time with Redan or have any coaching aspirations?
I coached the U/18.5 netball team from 2011-2013. In that time we were quite successful coming away with a premiership in 2011 and runners up in 2012 and 2013. Similar to A grade in 2011, we came into the game as underdogs and the girls worked tirelessly the whole game to come away with the win. When I finish playing I would love to be still involved in the club so that may be coaching again.
You are married to six time Redan Premiership player Ash Barker. What do you think has been the key to his longevity and success with the club?
In terms of his success I think he has been lucky to be coached by and played with some talented guys. When you build a culture of success you always want to achieve it and falling short is hard. Winning six premierships is a fantastic achievement and I think the culture built by the Redan Football Club has something to do with this.
Obviously being at the club for such a long period of time he has developed some strong friendships. He is still a teenager at heart so it is hard to drag him away from the den. I think when his body finally decides it had enough he will still be there sitting at the bar hanging s%^t on everyone.
What do you think are some of the best aspects of the relationship between football and netball at Redan?
I think Redan would have to be one of the best clubs for building friendships and relationships between the footballers and netballers and that can probably be attributed to THE DEN! Having such a cosy space to unwind in is the highlight of some players season.
I know the netballers throughout the finals campaign are always so supportive of the football teams. Celebrating Mad Monday with all members of the club demonstrates that we are all there for each and appreciate the role of people like the trainers and the ladies committee.
Do you agree with Kate McMahon who feels the introduction of a Women’s AFL will not have a detrimental effect on Netball participation?
I totally agree with Kate. Recruiters are looking at the best athletes across all sports to convert in Footballers. This means that a lot of the top Netballers may be lured across. At a junior level girls are able to play both but at the top level it would be impossible to do.
How much different do you find indoor netball to playing outdoors in the elements and on a different surface? Which do you prefer?
Indoor netball is much faster and you find that players who have only every played indoors find it really difficult to adjust. The wind off the lake at the City Oval can really influence a game. I think finals netball in the BFL can be different to the home and away season due to the weather. I hate Ballarat weather and playing in the cold so I would say I prefer indoor netball.
What are some of your best memories of your time with Redan?
There are so many! One of my favourite things about Redan is the BFL Grand Final weekend. No matter who is in the final, everyone celebrates the whole weekend together, including Mad Monday. I doubt there would be a club in the league that is like this. There are so many memories from this weekend, especially bonding with the girls on the court and at dusk.
2011 will always be a fond memory. The premierships of course were the best part of the year but the netball trip was up there as well.
While this isn’t a memory, I have made friends through Redan who I know call my best friends and enjoy spending weekends with out of the football/netball season.
What advice would you have for the junior netballers and footballers starting their careers with Redan?
Give your all at trainings and on game days.
Use the support around you to help develop your skills.
Appreciate everyone’s contribution to making Redan such a great club.
Moving into the senior competition enjoy all the functions and friendships.