NSW Swifts and Australian Fast5 defender Maddy Turner was only about 20 minutes into Thursday’s clinic at Sir Neville Howse Stadium when she spoke to the Central Western Daily, but she’d already made up her mind on one thing.
Based on what she’d seen in that short space of time, she was certain there could be some future Swifts among the crop of almost 300 juniors on hand.
“We’ve only just started, but definitely. I’ve seen a lot of skill already and everyone out here is so tall,” she laughed.
“The kids are all so energetic, it’s so cool and it’s just great to see them all enjoying themselves.”
The Swifts’ trip to Orange was the second leg of their regional tour, which started with a visit to Dubbo’s Taronga Western Plains Zoo on Thursday morning, before heading 150-odd clicks south to the colour city.
“And we got straight off the bus and did a gym session, we had to find some time to fit some work in somewhere,” Turner laughed, her enthusiastic giggle a real trend throughout the interview.
“Dubbo was great, we got to see all the animals and that sort of thing, then came to Orange. It’s all really cool, we don’t get the chance to do these kinds of thing as a group very often.”
The Swifts squad took Orange Netball Association’s budding superstars through a handful of clinics in between being mobbed by adoring fans.
Turner, like her teammates, was stoked with the reception the Swifts received and said the biggest thing she’d take from the trip was how much fun it was.
“I’m originally from South Australia, so it’s really great to be able to come out to regional NSW and see the kids, see how much of a following we have out here. It really is amazing,” she said.
Connecting with their regional fan base was the main reason for the visit, but the Swifts’ hierarchy also hoped the trip would act as a way for the group to come together before their 2018 Suncorp Super Netball preparations ramped up.
The Swifts finished a somewhat disappointing sixth in 2017 and with a few new faces, the coaching staff were hoping the trip would help the side bond.
“Well, you’re kind of forced to when you’re on a bus together for six hours,” Turner laughed.
“We were playing family feud and a whole bunch of board games on the trip, it was a lot of fun.
“It was a great little camp, doing a bit of work and being able to interact with the fans and give back to them, we love that side of it.