For 20-year-old Maddy Turner, the thought of playing in a Grand Final in her debut season hadn’t crossed her mind.
Turner has cemented herself in the starting seven and has excelled in the goal defence position, filling the void left by stalwart Julie Corletto who retired at the conclusion of 2015.
“I didn’t think I would be playing (each week) in my debut season,” Turner said.
“It’s pretty exciting (to play in a Grand Final), but it’s business as usual with training. The season has gone so fast.”
Turner has played every game this season for the Swifts, including their three games across the Finals Series.
She says not much changes from the regular season into finals, it’s still netball.
“There’s definitely more intensity at training and at the game, but it’s just another game of netball,” she explained.
“There’s more on the line but still just sixty minutes.”
This weekend, Turner will come up against unconventional Firebirds goal attack Gretel Tippett, known for her own signature shooting style.
Turner acknowledges that all of her opponents have their own style of play she is required to adjust to.
“All of the goal attacks in the competition have brought something different and Gretel is another one that does that,” Turner said.
“I just need to step up my game to help Sharni (Layton) at the back.”
For Turner, she says she has learnt “plenty” from playing alongside and training with 100-gamer Sharni Layton over the season.
She acknowledges that their growing combination has flourished this season.
“Watching her work ethic and intensity, there’s so much to learn from just that alone,” Turner said.
“Working with her in a combination is pretty cool and we have definitely grown through the season.”
The Firebirds will host the Swifts in the 2016 ANZ Championship Grand Final at Brisbane Entertainment Centre on Sunday July 31. The game will be broadcast live on Channel 10 (ONE in WA), Fox Sports Australia 3, Sky Sport NZ 1 and the Netball Live App.