By Justin Flynn
For someone that finds watching netball on TV “a bit boring” Charli Nicol sure is good at playing the game.
The 15-year-old Ocean Grover has made the 15-girl Under 15s Victorian schools state team, but her enjoyment of netball only extends to the court, not the lounge room.
She doesn’t follow a side in Super Netball.
“I watched a game the other day and it wasn’t bad but I find it boring almost,” she said.
“I don’t really enjoy watching it at all.”
Charli had to trial for the state team, which will compete in Caloundra next month, and was told of her selection by the coach.
“I kind of zoned out because I was really nervous so I let mum talk to her,” she said.
“The coach said she was impressed with my agility for someone of my height.”
Charli is not sure how tall she is, but she is tall.
“Six one (185cm) or six two (188cm),” she said.
Charli nearly gave the game away when she was shifted from attack to defence at Leopold Netball Club.
She now plays goal keeper and goal defence and enjoys it.
“I hated it at the start and I was thinking of quitting altogether, but I got trained by my coach Clair McFadyen and then it came more naturally to me,” she said.
“Everything clicked when she was teaching me.
“Every time I was on the court she would have something new to teach me.”
Charli will have a large support group in Queensland. The entire family is travelling up to Caloundra.
The Year 9 St Ignatius College student has only just realised she could go far in her sport.
“I’d never really thought about it much, but I’d like to play professionally, but I never used to want to,” she said.
“But now that it’s actually in reach, I want to do it.
“I’m getting a lot of opportunities at the moment and if I put the commitment and time in, I might be able to do something with it.”
Charli started playing netball at Barwon Heads before moving to Leopold to play with friends and at a higher standard.
Her reason for initially choosing netball as an 11-year-old is a bit left field.
“The dresses,” she laughed.
“Ocean Grove had the T-shirts and skirts and I didn’t want to play in that so I went to Barwon Heads,” she said.
“Barwon Heads had the proper dresses and the colours were a bit nicer, too.”