Nirranda goal shooter Sophie Adams has shaped her whole career in the top grade of the Warrnambool and District netball league around her mentor Steph Townsend.
Adams, who played under Townsend at Old Collegians in the 17 and under side, has always been influenced by the Blues’ A grade coach.
“At Collegians Steph coached me and she has always been my mentor,” the 19-year-old said. “When she asked me to come to Nirranda I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to play with her again.”
Adams sat on the Warriors’ A grade side’s bench watching and learning during her two years in the 17 and under team at Old Collegians
Adams credited her rise as one of the best goal shooters in the league to Townsend, who plays beside her in goal attack.
“She has completely changed the way I play netball, both physically and mentally,” she said. “I don’t think I would be playing if it wasn’t for her. Back in juniors I had a really bad mindset and she coached me and helped make it better.
“She is very positive and it rubs off on me and makes me want to keep on going.”
The goal shooter, who has shot 385 goals at an average of 21 goals a game in her second year at Nirranda, said last year’s grand final defeat to Dennington had spurred her to improve.
“This year I have worked twice as hard on my skills and my fitness,” she said.“The heartbreak from last year has just pushed me further and further. Last season I struggled with my mentality and this year with Steph that has also improved.”
Adams will likely contend with Dogs coach Melissa Burt or experienced defender Kristie Bolden on Saturday.