OPPORTUNITY is knocking for Camperdown netball export Sarah Wall.
The midcourter, who has been without a contract for more than a year, could be thrown a lifeline by the NSW Swifts after playing a considerable role in the side’s impressive win over defending Trans-Tasman netball championships premier Queensland Firebirds on Sunday.
Wall was rushed into the Swifts’ squad last Tuesday as cover for two players who suffered long-term knee injuries.
Wall, who last played at the elite level with Melbourne Vixens in 2012, said the call-up had been unexpected.
While the 29-year-old played Victorian Netball League with Southern Saints last year and maintained her fitness in case an opportunity arose at the higher level, she had some doubt.
“I was more at peace with where I was at,” she said.
“I have a really good life balance and I have set myself up off the court with my businesses Jeanieboy and the Net Fit and I was really happy. It was never a conscious thought to say ‘that’s it’. I just wanted to be as fit as I could.
“I was doing running sessions and thinking ‘why am I pushing myself as hard as I am’. I guess I know why now.”
Wall said she was confident her fitness base would hold her in good stead last Sunday.
“I just always thought if I could be in the best shape, an opportunity could have come up.”
She said she was determined to enjoy the experience and not worry if she would get another match.
“Going into the game I wanted to be in the moment and not over-think things.”
Wall admitted to nerves.
“I was shocked to start,” she said.
Wall played at wing attack for the full game and having had just five days to learn the side’s systems and fit in with her teammates, was pleased with the five-goal win.
“I don’t think I did anything that spectacular.”
But she worked closely with her captain, centre Kimberlee Green, and had 10 goal assists as she fed shooter Caitlin Thwaites and Susan Pratley.
Wall said she had stayed with Green in the lead-up to the match after hastily packing her bags and flying from Melbourne to Sydney.
That helped her get a better understanding with the skipper and the side’s structures. She has spent hours looking at videos of her former side, the Firebirds.
Green said Wall had been nervous before the game.
“For her not only just coming into the squad but to start and do an amazing job like she did, just shows her experience and the calibre of player she is,” Green said.
The Swifts’ media and PR co-ordinator Victoria Bain said the club had made no decision on whether Wall’s tenure would be extended.
“Obviously she played fabulously on the weekend and going forward she has put her hand up and she is in the mix,” Bain said.
The club’s high-performance department would make a decision within the next couple of days about the replacement player’s position but wouldn’t rush it.
Sunday’s win has the Swifts sitting second on the ladder with a 3-1 win/loss record. Their next game is on Monday against Central Pulse at the Sydney Olympic Sports Centre.