NEW Port Fairy coach Sarah McCorkell feels like she’s “gained five players in one” after the Seagulls landed a former Australian Diamonds netballer.
Ex-Queensland Firebirds and Melbourne Vixens defender Demelza Fellowes has signed at Port Fairy in a massive coup for the Hampden league competition.
McCorkell said Fellowes, who played for Victorian Netball League club Ballarat Sovereigns last season, would give the Seagulls a boost, on and off the court.
“It’s about what we can give to the club and setting up great practices and junior development as well as our senior girls’ success and I think she just ticks the box on all fronts,” she said.
“Us old ones are happy to learn new tricks and for the younger ones it will be an invaluable experience for them to play alongside her.”
McCorkell met with the Melbourne-based Fellowes – a 188-centimetre goal defender or goal keeper – after Christmas to finalise the signing.
“We had a really good catch up,” she said.
“It was amazing how much information and insight I got out of it. She stayed over in Port Fairy and it was great to get to know her.
“I am all about having good people at the club next year that want to give a lot to the club.
“Most of all, she is a great person. I didn’t know what to expect meeting someone of her calibre.
“She has the same silly sense of humour as us country girls. She is originally a country girl herself so she will fit in no worries.
“The fact she wants to give back to country netball is where we just got lucky.”
McCorkell said it was exciting to have a player of Fellowes’ standing join the Hampden competition.
The Wodonga-born Fellowes, 37, represented Australia in 2004-05.
Her most recent ANZ Championships match was in 2013 in Queensland Firebirds colours.
“When I first got in touch, I was like ‘wow, it would be fantastic if we could get her’,” McCorkell said.
“I thought you can always dream big and if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen.
“The fact it’s actually happening, dreams do come true.”
Port Fairy president Ashley King said the Seagulls were thrilled with McCorkell’s approach to her first season in charge.
“Sarah’s energy and drive since accepting the coaching role has been amazing,” he said.
“All the hallmarks of success are being put in place to move forward.
“She is demonstrating the old ‘Five Ps’ adage – proper preparation prevents poor performance.
“In addition, she is committed to building a united club.”
Port Fairy will start its pre-season on Monday, January 15 at the Gardens Oval grandstand from 6pm.