EMERGING Warrnambool netballer Jordi Bidmade credits tough pre-season sessions for her elevation to the Blues' top team.
The wing defence made her Hampden league open grade debut on Saturday, earning praise from coach Raewyn Poumako for her best-on-court performance.
Bidmade, 18, was on the cusp of a debut last season courtesy of impressive efforts in division one and worked diligently to give herself a chance to take the next step this year.
"Our team went to high altitude (training) every Tuesday night in pre-season and I think that helped," she said.
Bidmade is part of Warrnambool team blooding new faces with Montana Wallace, Sarah Perry and Eva Ryan all featuring in open for the first time against Portland in round one.
"I was very nervous but it was good to come away with the win," she said.
"It is a good culture to be around.
"We are very young but hopefully we go well."
Bidmade said the team had on-court leaders there to help guide the teenage players while Poumako was influential as non-playing coach.
"Amy (Wormald) being a goal attack but also coming down to defence is handy and all the older girls are encouraging us to play," she said.
"We trained with open last year when I was in div one and Raewyn coached me in juniors as well.
"She tells you how it is and she is really encouraging as well which is good."
A chance to play against friends, including Koroit's Isabella Baker who often plays wing attack, is something Bidmade is excited about.
"We are the same age and we play basketball together," she said.
"(On the netball court) she's really quick and just really smart with what she does."
The teenager, who finished at Warrnambool College last year, is working at Woolworths while completing a disability work course through Gen U Training.
She said "seeing the smiles on their faces and the little things" was what encouraged her to delve into the industry.
"I want to be a disability support worker. It would be rewarding," Bidmade said.
The Blues play Hamilton Kangaroos in round two at Melville Oval.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.