Ally O'Connor feels honoured and inspired to be playing alongside Victoria's brightest netball talents.
The South Warrnambool export and Geelong Cougars Victorian Netball League star, who won the 2021 Hampden league best and fairest, has been named in the initial Victorian Fury squad for August's Australian National Championships.
"It's a nice feeling, especially now that they don't do tryouts or anything, you're being looked at for your performances in the VNL," she told The Standard.
"To be recognised is great - I've been working on the consistency in my game this year and it's probably picked up a lot more this season so I'm pretty happy about that.
"Being selected off the basis of my games is pretty awesome."
To see my name amongst those athletes is surreal to be honest.- Ally O'Connor
O'Connor said she was in awe of the talent in the squad and to be named alongside them.
"To see my name amongst those athletes is surreal to be honest, a lot of them have had a taste with Suncorp (Super Netball) whether as a training partner or as a player," she said.
"I play alongside a lot of these girls, so being named amongst a bunch of talented girls is a really good feeling.
"It's quite surreal."
The Deakin University nursing student said her 2022 season had been enjoyable so far and she had thrived on being part of the Melbourne Vixens Academy in the off-season.
The academy - coached by Netball Victoria hall of fame member Susan Meaney - aimed to develop the next wave of Vixens players and immerse them in the professional environment.
"The academy went really well and it's all done now but I enjoyed being part of it," she said.
"For me, it ended up creating some great opportunities for my own game.
"I've been lucky enough to train alongside the Melbourne Vixens from that academy quite a bit so it's been pretty awesome."
The gun centre said the next few weeks were crucial with the final team to be named ahead of the championships.
"They (the selectors) will watch us in the VNL and pick the team from there and then that team will go and train for two and a half months before the championships," she said.
"So it'll be a big few weeks for sure."
O'Connor said she wasn't looking too far ahead in her career and would remain focused on what she could control.
"I've been training a fair bit with the Vixens, so it's nice to know my name is being thrown up as a potential choice for them," she said.
"Whatever happens, happens, I'm not too fussed.
"It's all just been a really good opportunity for me to develop my game further."
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