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McMahon says country netballers can make it to the top

August 09, 2011, 11:47 AM AEST

 

BY MELANIE WHELAN

08 Aug, 2011 09:30 PM

INJURED Australian netball captain Sharelle McMahon says promising country netballers have stronger pathways then ever before to make it to the top.

She urges all netball enthusiasts to play at the highest level they can.

McMahon, speaking at a Ballarat Football League women in football tribute luncheon, spoke of her grassroots start with Lockington-Bamawm United.

One of her fondest netball memories was an A-grade premiership with the footy-netball club when she was 14.

“Netball Victoria is really strong and covers all areas well but there are so many different pathways available now,” McMahon said.

“The Victorian Netball League is really strong but there’s also regional state leagues sprouting up and working quite successfully, which will be great for country netballers.”

McMahon nowadays also keeps a close check on the BFL as a proud supporter of her sister Kate, who coaches Redan seniors.

While Kate had hinted at the start of the season she might seek a bit of McMahon’s advice, but McMahon said Kate was doing a great job getting back into the game on her own.

McMahon is focused on her return to court from a well-documented ruptured Achilles tendon that ended her aspiration for a fourth World Netball Championship campaign.

She aims to be back in action for Melbourne Vixens for the ANZ Championship season launch in April but knows recovery could take up to 12 months.

The Vixens’ skipper has the reputation as one of the hardest workers in the gym under her daily rehabilitation schedule.

Extended time on the sidelines has allowed McMahon a chance to explore the game from different angles.

She relished a chance to commentate for the ABC at the world championships in Singapore – even though she would much rather have preferred to be celebrating a win on court with her Diamonds teammates.

This summer, McMahon has an active role on the board with new cricket team Melbourne Stars in the inaugural Big Bash League season.

“It’s definitely very different but exciting as well, a new experience for me,” McMahon said.

“I like cricket and, in terms of administration, hopefully I can add a perspective from my involvement in netball, which has covered quite a few changes in the game.

“It’s exciting for me to see how Twenty20 cricket will grow.”

McMahon was guest speaker and a panel member at the BFL’s inaugural women in football luncheon with The Age’s football writer Emma Quayle, AFL umpiring and development manager Jennie Loughnan, North Melbourne Football Club’s Sonja Hood and country football guru Ros Lanigan.

For more BFL stories, go to the Ballarat Courier website.

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