Stepping up to the challenge

11 days ago

With Suncorp Super Netball recently returning from the 2019 Netball World Cup break, in which five Adelaide Thunderbirds participated, all eyes have been on the young guns lending extra support to the game day squads.

Following the World Cup, clubs were permitted to increase their squads from 10 to 12 players for Round 10 and 11. The initiative was introduced to help support player wellbeing for those who competed in the intense competition in Liverpool in July. Chelsea Blackman, Maisie Nankivell and Charlee Hodges where named for the Round 10 game day against the Melbourne Vixens.

However in an unexpected turn, star shooter Maria Folau was struck down by illness and unable to take the court despite have travelled to Melbourne with the team. Former Vixen and 2019 MVP of the Deakin University Australian Netball League, Emma Ryde stepped up to the challenge and was announced in the eleventh hour as a temporary replacement for Maria.

Making her debut for the Adelaide Thunderbirds Emma shot at 93% claiming 28 of 30 goal attempts after coming on at the start of the second quarter.

Adelaide Thunderbirds Head Coach, Tania Obst was thrilled by the latecomer’s performance under the pressure of no preparation.

Emma Ryde was a fabulous addition to our team. Her contribution of 28 goals was immense given she didn’t even know she was playing with us until just hours before game. Standing at 196cm she was a dominant target under the goal post,” said Tania.

Emma's wasn’t the only official Adelaide Thunderbirds SSN debut, with elevated training partner Chelsea Blackman getting game time with the squad for the first time in Suncorp Super Netball. Chelsea came onto the court as Goal Defence in the final quarter and had the big task of taking on veteran Australia Diamond Caitlin Thwaites.

Chelsea came up through the Netball SA pathways and has played for the Southern Force in the Deakin University Australian Netball League since 2017. She also plays in Netball SA’s Premier League with Contax Netball Club.

Fellow training partners, midcourter Maisie and shooter Charlee were also announced as part of the extended squad and worked hard to support the team.

Masie, who first made her SSN debut earlier in the season as a temporary replacement for injured Beth Cobden for the Round 4 clash against the Collingwood Magpies, came on for two quarters in Round 10 and wracked up three gains for the team with her efforts in Wing Defence. Maisie also plays for the Southern Force and in Netball SA's Premier League for Matrics Netball Club.

Charlee, who was previously also elevated into the game day squad in the Round 8 clash against the West Coast Fever was named again in Round 10 against the Vixens. Charlee, who also plays for Southern Force and Contax Netball Club, has been in Adelaide Thunderbirds environment since 2016 as a training partner and has played numerous games for the club as a replacement player during this time.

All who entered the game stuck to task and helped carry out the Adelaide Thunderbirds game plan.

Round 12, where the Adelaide Thunderbirds take on the Queensland Firebirds, will see all clubs return to the squad of ten.

Charlee Hodges #90
Maisie Nankivell #93
Emma Ryde #95
Chelsea Blackman #96

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