Melbourne Vixens defender Micaela Wilson is not your average 19-year old. While most of her peers might reasonably be expected to be spending their school holidays hanging out with friends, shopping or just kicking back, Wilson is experiencing one of the biggest weeks in her young netball career.
Few players in the ANZ Championship can claim to be just 19 years old and even fewer are preparing for the ANZ Championship Grand Final against the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic less than a week after captaining her state at Nationals.
“It’s going to be crazy,” Wilson said in Perth last week during the national championships.
“As much as there’s going to be increased media and functions, we’re trying to keep our routine as normal as possible.
“It’s really exciting and I’m looking forward to Sunday.”
Last week Wilson led Victoria to a third placed finish at the 21/U National Netball Championships in Perth despite dropping only one game for the tournament.
After going through the round robin phase of the competition undefeated, including a win over the much-fancied South Australia, Victoria’s only loss of the tournament came against archrivals New South Wales in the semi-final.
Despite the missing out on a second consecutive grand final, Victoria defeated hosts Western Australia in the 3/4 Playoff to finish the tournament on a positive note.
“It’s a really busy but exciting time,” Wilson said.
“With the Vixens winning our semi-final we had the weekend off which allowed me to come over to Perth for the 21/U National Netball Championships, lead the girls and get to play some netball.”
“It’s always a massive honour to captain but every time you step into the navy dress it’s always a big gig.”
The youngest member of the Vixens is set to experience her first ANZ Championship Grand Final on Sunday at Hisense Arena after joining the franchise last season.
The Upper Ferntree Gully native has been earmarked as a player of the future for the Vixens and remains a key player in Australia’s next generation of defenders following her appearances in underage national teams.
While court-time has been limited in this ANZ Championship season, Wilson hasn’t lost sight of the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s best defenders ahead of her in the Vixens’ line up.
“It’s been a really successful season to date and with the defenders around me with (Bianca) Chatfield, (Geva) Mentor and (Julie) Corletto, it’s amazing,” the 188cm defender said.
“I’m just trying to soak up as much as I can and learn as much as I can to bring to this age group then pass on a few tips to my team mates in Nationals.
“I’m learning a lot about movement in my specialty goal keeper position and a lot more tools of the trade, attacking skills and strategies like the press and one-on-one defence.
“The work ethic on top of that has been massive so that’s something I’ve taken into my game.”
As a rookie, development and growth as an athlete is achieved through experience.
For the Vixens young gun, this week alone has provided more opportunities than most get to experience in a lifetime, let alone at 19 years old.
The Melbourne Vixens host the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic in the 2012 ANZ Championship Grand Final at Hisense Arena on Sunday 22 July. Catch all the action live on Channel Ten from 2.00om EST, online through Telstra BigPond Sport and ABC Grandstand.
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