Emma Wright 120125AM20WHILE the season is just starting for most south-west netballers, it never really stopped for Camperdown’s Emma Wright.
Nanjing Night Net

The unassuming defender will debut for Ballarat Pride in the Victorian Netball League (VNL) championship division tonight after catching the eye of coach Jo Dash in Ballarat Netball Association’s premier league last year.

“I started playing with a team in the Athlete’s Foot competition on Tuesday nights in Ballarat because another player from Camperdown (Caitlin Hickey) was playing in it,” she said.

“I played for Dela, which had two teams.

“I was in the second team and the first team was coached by the Pride coach.”

Dash spotted the talented Wright and asked her to attend Pride trials in October, with the Hampden league defender no doubt impressing the coaching staff with her anticipation and aerial flair.

“I was told at that try out that I would make it into the championship squad,” she said, with the news coming as a surprise.

“I wasn’t expecting much.

“I was just going to try out because I had never done anything like that before.”

Her successful trial has resulted in a hectic period since last year’s Hampden league season, in which she helped the Magpies to another grand final appearance against eventual back-to-back premier Koroit.

As well as training with the Pride for more than two hours each Sunday, Wright has completed pre-season sessions with Camperdown twice a week, along with featuring in the Magpies’ Western Regional State League side.

Pride’s championship team will open its VNL season tonight against Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels at the State Netball Hockey Centre.

Wright plays mostly goal keeper for the Magpies but has also featured in goal defence during Ballarat’s pre-season.

“It was a bit hard to start with because I hadn’t really played it before,” she said.

“You definitely have to do a lot more work outside the ring.”

Wright, who is expected to be in the Pride’s starting seven tonight, said there would be a few VNL games on Saturdays that would clash with Camperdown this season.

Meanwhile, twins Jordyn and Skye Billings, from North Warrnambool Eagles, will feature in the Pride’s 19 and under side this VNL season, along with Koroit goaler Rachel Dobson.

Versatile South Warrnambool junior Brittany Hyland was selected in the Hume City Falcons 19 and under side, while Port Fairy’s Sarah Moroney is part of the Geelong Cougars’ 19 and under outfit.

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