Amy Wormald is taking the excitement of Big V grand final week, along with the first week of Hampden league netball finals, in her stride.
The dual athlete has a big weekend ahead, first lining up for the Warrnambool Mermaids in game one of a three-game series against Sherbrooke on Saturday night. She will back it up for Warrnambool's open grade elimination final at Port Fairy on Sunday.
Wormald, 31, said the goal was to win both games, as to "not muck up any of my plans" in week two of finals.
It's been a year of change for Wormald, who is in her first year teaching at St Joseph's Primary School.
Moving back to Warrnambool after a six-year stint in Melbourne, Wormald, by her own standards, feels she hasn't had her best season with the Mermaids.
"I haven't been able to compartmentalise properly, I think that's why my season has been up-and-down," she said. "I used to think and live-and-breath basketball and netball. Now my priorities have changed a little bit."
Arguably though, Wormald's presence on the court is a game changer for the Mermaids. The former grand final MVP has averaged 12.64 points in her 11 appearances this year, along with 8.3 rebounds, and is building consistency by playing each of the last four games.
She hopes to draw on past experiences playing finals to be a steadying presence for her younger teammates.
"It's not the first time we've been in a basketball grand final," she said, referencing the Mermaids' 2017 and 2018 titles. "I feel like a few of us are experienced in that respect where we can take it in our stride."
Wormald credits her younger teammates, some as young as 15, as the fighting spirit of the Lee Primmer-coached team.
"The young ones are just incredible,' she said. "I find myself always looking to them for stability and assurance... and inspiration. They're just work-horses. I just go out there and do my bit for them and I know they've got my back as well."
Despite the potential for basketball and netball clashes next week - if the Mermaids lose game one and Warrnambool win their elimination final - Wormald is pleased by the Big V grand final's three-game structure.
"You always know if you don't turn up or at your best in that first game you've got another opportunity," she said.
I'm there to be a leader and be there for my teammates.- Amy Wormald
Wormald is also excited by the opportunity to face North Warrnambool Eagles in an elimination final for Warrnambool on Sunday.
A dynamic goal attack, Wormald will be without her usual shooting partner Jessica Thwaites, who is out of the finals with a foot injury. Instead, Wormald will partner with Eva Ryan, 14.
"It's extremely unfortunate for Jess, and she and I know each other so well," Wormald said. "We don't even need to think when we step out on the court together."
Still, Wormald is looking forward to playing alongside the talent teenager in Ryan.
"Eva is really exciting," she said. "She's worth the effort and time, and she'll just grow from this finals experience whether we win or lose. What she's done so far is incredible."
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