Motherhood has failed to stop Koroit goal shooter Carley Thomas from making an impact since her mid-season return.
Now, just five months after giving birth to her second son Hugo in April, Thomas will line up for the Saints in their Hampden league A grade grand final showdown with Warrnambool on Saturday.
Without a pre-season under her belt, Thomas returned via the Saints’ A reserve side in round nine and was called up to an injury-depleted A grade team the following week.
The 2011 A grade premiership player has retained her spot ever since. “The more practice I had playing netball, whether it was in A reserves or A grade, I needed it,” she said.
Thomas, who is also mother to two-year-old Archie, played in the Saints’ 2009 grand final loss to Warrnambool.
She missed Koroit’s 2010 premiership, with Archie arriving in the week leading up to the decider.
“I am really excited and a bit nervous but I am looking forward to it,” she said of Saturday’s showdown.
Thomas’ only game against Warrnambool this season was the Saints’ five-goal qualifying final win. “They are a really good side and seem to be getting better and better as the year goes on,” she said.
The Hamilton-born Thomas, 31, said she settled into goal shooter since her return.
“I have played goal keeper in the past and last year I played at both ends, but this year I’ve mainly played goal shooter,” she said.
“The team has changed a bit from last year and we’ve had quite a few injuries too.
“There is always the ability to change.
“Emily Batt can shoot too and I can go into defence. We’re versatile.”