The Finch family is hoping to create Camperdown netball history

FUN TIMES: Camperdown's Jaymie and Emily Finch shoot for goal on their farm while dad and coach, Peter, stands guard. Picture: Rob Gunstone.

FUN TIMES: Camperdown's Jaymie and Emily Finch shoot for goal on their farm while dad and coach, Peter, stands guard. Picture: Rob Gunstone.

JAYMIE Finch's grand final preparation revolves around ambulance call-outs; her sister Emily is juggling midwifery placement.

Their dad Peter is working the family’s sheep farm near Boggy Creek.

In between there is netball training at Camperdown.

The Finch family is eager to play a part in the Magpies’ first open grade premiership.

Peter, 59, is the off-field leader – the first male charged with leading a Hampden league top-grade netball team is one step away from creating club history.

Jaymie, 21, and Emily, 19, form the Pies’ sweet-shooting attacking end. 

Together they lifted the Magpies to the 2016 minor premiership and will enter Saturday’s decider against Port Fairy with the belief they can end the club’s six-game grand final losing streak.

There will be plenty to keep the Finch clan busy in the lead-up.

Jaymie is studying a double degree in nursing and paramedics at Australian Catholic University’s Ballarat campus.

She uses her holiday breaks to gather much-needed on-the-job experience as an Ambulance Community Officer for the single-vehicle Timboon branch.

First-year Deakin University student Emily will sandwich the grand final between two weeks’ placement in Warrnambool.

Peter has always encouraged his daughters to gain a qualification, saying the farm will always be there as an option.

“All the girls have done something on the farm and help out – Jaymie less than the other two,” he joked.

Emily would like to follow her dad and work the land. She has helped lambing, shearing and marking.

“My goal is always to work on the farm but Dad said I had to get something under my belt,” she said. 

“I’d rather be outdoors and able to do what I want, where I am not committed to a schedule.”

The Finch siblings – along with older sister Ashlee – started their netball at Warrnambool and District league club Timboon Demons.

Basketball was their first sporting love. Peter made a concrete court on their property and later installed a netball ring to help his two youngest daughters hone their shooting skills.

They still use that court.

“At home, he’s like ‘you should be out practicing goals tonight’,” Jaymie said.

“He might come out and have a shot with us some nights. Surprisingly he goes all right for someone who has never played netball or basketball in his life.”

Peter, an accomplished footballer with Cobden and Heytesbury, admits his tactics might leave a bit to be desired.

“I play to my rules, so it probably gets a bit rough,” he said.

Peter was appointed Camperdown coach in March – a month out from the season. He learned about the sport watching his daughters progress through the ranks.

“I was probably like every male when they first start watching and blamed the umpires for everything because you don’t know the rules,” Peter said.

“You have to understand the game first. I have enjoyed it. I’ve sat beside a lot of good netball coaches over the time and have picked up bits and pieces.

“It’s been good for all the girls to have an outside perspective on it all.

“We’ve done a lot of different drills….weights stuff early and we’ve had tennis balls in there throughout the year; a lot of reflex stuff.

“Getting reflexes happening in netball is important because a fingertip or hand in the way could cause a turnover.”

FAMILY: Jaymie, Peter and Emily Finch are excited about the Hampden league grand final. Picture: Rob Gunstone

FAMILY: Jaymie, Peter and Emily Finch are excited about the Hampden league grand final. Picture: Rob Gunstone

Peter admitted it was “a bit awkward” coaching his daughters to begin with.

“They don’t listen to me at the best of times,” he laughed.

Jaymie and Emily have enjoyed having their dad as their netball mentor. 

They believe his different perspective, no doubt influenced by his football background, has given the Magpies an edge.

“He has lot more authority. When you go to Melbourne netball academies a lot of the coaches there are guys,” Jaymie said.

“Everyone seems to listen better, he gets his point across. He knows everyone has played a lot of netball before and understands what to do and that we just need instructions.”

Emily said communication was easier because, as they say, blood is thicker than water.

“You can tell him what you are thinking, unlike someone else coaching where you are a bit hesitant,” she said. “It’s the same as playing with Jaymie as well – we can yell at each other because it doesn’t matter in the end. Jaymie likes to call it ‘constructive criticism’.”

They are among the Hampden league’s most potent attacking combinations. But they started in different thirds of the court – Jaymie was a midcourter and Emily a defender.

“It’s a lot like basketball – you have a few screens. Emily shoots pretty quick too,” Jaymie said.

A third sister, track rider Ashlee, could add to the family connections.

“If she’s still around here next year she’ll look at playing somewhere,” Peter said.

“She came to training the other night and I whacked her in centre and she said ‘that’s the most running I’ve done for years’.”

You can tell him what you are thinking, unlike someone else coaching where you are a bit hesitant. It’s the same as playing with Jaymie as well – we can yell at each other because it doesn’t matter in the end. - Emily Finch

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop