TEENAGER Nell Mitchell is too young to know much about world wars. But through her grandparents and great grand-parents, she understands the significance of Anzac Day.
“It’s a chance to honour them and pay respect,” she said.
The South Warrnambool goal shooter is looking forward to joining her teammates at this morning’s dawn service in Warrnambool before lining up for the showdown against ladder-leader Koroit at Victoria Park.
Mitchell understands the sacrifices made by past generations on battlefields.
In a sporting context, she has made a sacrifice of her own.
The 16-year-old is one of three South Warrnambool youngsters who opted to forgo matches at 17 and under level this season in favour of trying to cement spots in South’s A grade side. With the Roosters undefeated after two rounds and sitting second on the table behind the Saints, Mitchell has no regrets.
“I just want to improve and play against stronger players and push myself to improve,” she said.
“It’s been good, the challenge of it each week. I just play my own game and don’t really focus on anyone else’s.”
Playing alongside coach and goal attack Leah Kermeen, Mitchell has been impressive in the opening two weeks of the season. She has scored 44 goals out of her side’s 90 so far. Standing 177 centimetres, Mitchell is growing in confidence in her first full season of A grade competition.
After playing a handful of matches last season, she said she had become more comfortable at the highest level.
“Leah has been encouraging me to shoot when I’m in range,” she said. “She just knows what to do.”
Mitchell said she felt no pressure despite having the responsibility of finishing off her teammates’ work. But the Roosters face their biggest test of the season so far against Koroit.
“They’re the best team in the competition,” Mitchell said.
At the other end of the court, Koroit boasts the league’s most prolific shooter, captain Carley Thomas.
Kermeen knows limiting her influence will be critical to the outcome.