When you look back and realize preseason is over for another year, it actually seems like it flew by. At the time, we are counting down days until we can get back on the court and play, instead of the painful fitness sessions that the coaches plan for us over the summer. But now the season is upon us and before you know it that too will fly by and it will be time to start another painful preseason!
So we kicked started the 2015 ANZ Championship season with a hard fought win against an impressive Southern Steel team. We knew they would be difficult to overcome, and even more so, having to play them in Invercargill, where history will tell you the NSW Swifts have not won in the past 8 seasons of the ANZ Championships. So now round one is completed and we move onto preparing for round 2, v Magic. Who have just come off an impressive and close win over the Thunderbirds on Australia soil- not an easy feat.
Round one- a new name! Pettitt graced our court for the first time, and it did sound a little weird being announced on as “Susan Pettitt”, but also very special, we also saw 2 new players join the Swifts player caps with Jade and Julie making their Swifts debuts, and didn’t they do well! I’m also looking forward to getting our other 2 uncapped players on the field in the coming weeks- Erin and Steph. That is the beauty of this team, we are strong throughout our 12, and we can count on anyone of them to jump on that court and keep the score ticking over, all 12 have pushed hard through preseason and are making it a difficult job for our coaching staff to name a starting 7- a good problem to have!
So its now into the train, travel, play, recover – repeat; week in week out for the next 14 weeks and hopefully into the finals, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!!
The best part about playing this sport is the constant challenges we face each week. New opposition, new travel destination, new combinations, and all executed in a 60-minute game. There are not many opportunities to have a flat moment, or teams will be ready to pounce. So each week it’s about preparing for the new game, the different opposition and knowing that the hard work and preparation you do in the week prior to the game, is everything you need to get you through that 60 minutes on top.
Next week it’s Magic back in New Zealand, and then the following week we get our first home game of the season. Playing against Queensland Firebirds in front of a packed State Sports Centre with all our supporters, members and family. I cannot wait. If all goes to plan this will also be by 100 ANZ Championship game. A very special moment for me, as I get to celebrate the milestone at home in front of a sea of red supporters. A member of the NSW Swifts since the inception of the league and in every single one of the NSW Swifts games; I’m a pretty fortunate and lucky girl!
Back 10 years ago when I first played with the then Sydney Swifts in the yellow bodysuit, I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be playing in my 10th season, that our uniform would now be red, and I would have experienced so many amazing memories. Every week I take the court and take it all in, absorb every moment of it, and enjoy the ride.
I hope you all come on this crazy fun ride with me this year, 2015, it feels special!