ALLY Mellblom is ready to rack up the kilometres.
The South Warrnambool defender has re-signed at Victorian Netball League outfit Ariels and will juggle her state-level commitments with a gap year in 2022.
Mellblom, a boarder at prestigious Melbourne school Wesley College, will be based in the south-west next year and intends to pick the brain of new Roosters coach Will Jamison at midweek training.
She'll travel to state capitol for Ariels duties in the meantime.
"I've said that I'm more than happy to come play at South (when I can)," Mellblom said.
I'll be living in Warrnambool, having a gap year, and I'll obviously be able to train (at South Warrnambool) and focus my attention to that as well.Ally Mellblom
"I'll be living in Warrnambool, having a gap year, and I'll obviously be able to train there and focus my attention to that as well.
"I think everyone has kind of had to travel (from back home) so they're pretty good at it."
Mellblom said her first season at Victorian Netball League level - which was for Ariels' 19 and under side - yielded several learning opportunities.
"I feel like self-motivation played a big part in I suppose getting up and doing the work by yourself, knowing you don't have other people around you to motivate you," she said.
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"As I'm a defender I want to keep working on my defensive play. With Will (Jamison) coaching and Leesa (Battistello) as an assistant, that's the best duo you could have.
"They've got so much care and experience towards your game and they're always there to give you 100 per cent."
Mellblom said Jamison and Battistello were among the "better coaches I've ever had".
She said despite the COVID-interrupted season at both Victorian Netball League and Hampden league level, she was grateful for the experience.
"We started pre-season pretty early in the year. We got to trainings and there were obviously so many interruptions," Mellblom said.
"Things were called off and whatnot. Being able to do that, it's such a hard thing to get in and out of but I think we were really good at getting through it and our team was amazing with that.
"The coaches were great and all the support was given too. Training online, via Zoom, that was a different experience but it was really good and challenging for everyone."
Mellblom said she was excited for the prospect of a smooth-running campaign in 2022.
"Hopefully this season is a bit smoother and we can get through and go into finals and have a crack," she said.
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"Hopefully we can finish it with a bang, I suppose."
Mellblom said her goal was still to take her netball as far as she possibly could.
South Warrnambool, which was inspired to a second-place finish this season, will back its young list again in 2022 under Jamison.
The first-year coach, who is the brother of former Carlton defender Michael, was an assistant to Battistello in 2021 while still living in Melbourne.
Now living in the south-west, the Australian men's netballer will take the reins in a major boost for the Hampden league powerhouse.
Jamison and Battistello are understood to be highly popular at Friendly Societies Park and will provide a strong platform for the club to pursue a drought-breaking premiership.
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