An injured netballer will be doing all she can off-court to help her team win an elimination final despite the disappointment of missing out in what was meant to be her swansong season.
Nadine Porter will take on an assistant coaching role during South Rovers' elimination final against Timboon Demons after breaking her collarbone against Allansford in round 17.
It's the wing attack's first significant injury in a long and decorated netball career, and came just weeks out from the Lions' return to finals.
Porter, 41, said she had planned to retire at season's end, though was unsure what the future held in light of her injury.
"I was just more disappointed I couldn't play finals with the girls," she said. "We've come so far. I'm almost annoyed enough to come back next year ... but at this stage I'm looking at retirement."
Porter hopes to provide extra leadership off-court as well as a different set of eyes for coach Kylie Carter.
"Kylie's really good at asking my opinion, if I see anything she's not noticing," she said. "And just giving a bit of direction to the girls. They're pretty excited, it's a big thing for them. Just that improvement we've made this year has been fantastic."
The mother-of-three will also coach the Lions' under 15 team, including daughter Kokoda, in a Warrnambool and District league qualifying final on Saturday, while eldest son Mason, 15, and husband Jeremy vie for the Hampden league under 16 premiership on Sunday with South Warrnambool.
Porter said she would go back and forth between Davidson Oval and Reid Oval on Sunday.
I was just more disappointed I couldn't play finals with the girls.- Nadine Porter
Porter has played for a number of Warrnambool-based clubs, including Hampden league's South Warrnambool and Warrnambool and District league's Allansford, Russells Creek and Merrivale, where she won an A grade premiership alongside Carter.
A call from Carter lured Porter to South Rovers, where she won the A reserve league best and fairest in 2018.
Porter said she lined up in A reserve to play alongside friends but when many retired she returned to the top grade, her body still holding up.
"Kylie almost gave me the choice of playing A grade or A res over the seasons," she said.
Porter, a veteran among a younger A grade team in 2022, said her teammates had welcomed her with open arms.
"They've all really matured since I've been playing with them," she said. "Kez's (captain Keziah Freeman) leadership on court is fantastic. They really want to make the best and get everything they can out of Sunday."
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