Orange shooter Alice Maier will make her Netball NSW State Cup debut for the Thunder this weekend, her selection is just reward for a superb Orange Netball Association Toyota Cup season with Royal Hawks.
That season culminated in last weekend’s division one grand final, although her Hawks side lost to Robin Hood the 16-year-old was named player-of-the-match.
With that in mind, it’s easy to think she’d be brimming with confidence.
“I don’t know, I guess it does (give me confidence) but I’m just pleased to be able to keep playing. I get so sad at the end of the season, it’s great to be able to keep playing now with Orange,” Maier laughed.
“I’m stoked to be playing this weekend, I’ve played in Academy sides against the best in my own age group but this is against the best in the open division. It’ll be good experience.”
Maier will join fellow Thunder young guns Cheynoah Merchant, Annie Miller, Caitlyn Harvey, Maddie Cole and Beth Curtin in the Orange side, along with the more experienced Abby Tilburg, Tegan Dray, Kristin Zinga, Kellie Watson and Sheryll Selwood.
“I’m not really nervous because I’ve played with all the girls except Tegan, Sheryll and Abby. I know how hard they are to play against though, so I’m glad I get to be on their team this time,” Maier laughed.
I’m stoked to be playing this weekend, I’ve played in Academy sides ... but this is against the best in the open division.
Maier is expecting to line up at goal attack this weekend, although she hasn’t confirmed that with coach Em Callaway. Regardless of whether she starts or not, she’s just hoping to play a role in Orange’s attacking circle.
“I think I’ll play GA to Beth or Zinga’s GS. I don’t want to just be a call-up either, I want to [cement] a spot in the side for the future,” she said.
Orange will be joined in the regional league pool by Newcastle, Grafton, Quirindi and Hastings Valley, while Northern Suburbs, Baulkham Hills Shire, Manly Waringah, Sutherland Shire, City of Sydney and Inner Western Suburbs will contest the metro league pool.
Where Callaway said she knew nothing about Orange’s opposition Maier, surprisingly, had some insight.
“Mum and I are kind of intense on our research,” Maier laughed.
“I know there is some sides we should be pretty confident of beating and then others who will be very strong. Newcastle are one (of the latter), they’ll be really tough.”
The State Cup is at Sydney’s Netball Central, in Homebush, on Saturday and Sunday.