Mooroopna-raised netballer Fiona Themann has won an Australian Netball League title with Victorian Fury is eyeing a Commonwealth Games berth for her late father's native Scotland next year.By Damen Francis
What began as a snap decision has turned into the beginning of what could prove the journey of a lifetime for Mooroopna-raised netballer Fiona Themann.
The latest stop was an Australian Netball League title with Victorian Fury last month.
The next could be the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, representing her late father’s native Scotland, next year.
Themann, 23, spent last season at Northern Territory Storm, but decided to try her luck closer to home on the back of another solid Victorian Netball League campaign with VU Western Lightning.
‘‘It was just a case of putting your name in for tryouts and I was hoping to possibly be a member of the (newly created Victorian) Flames team, but it turns out I made Fury,’’ Themann said.
It proved a great match, with the Fury claiming the premiership undefeated.
It was not all smooth sailing — they trailed Southern Force by as many as 14 goals in the semi-final — but the Fury went on to defeat NSW Waratahs, 56-51, in the grand final in Adelaide.
Themann was joined in the team by former Goulburn Valley Netball League teammate Simone Nalder and Echuca’s Caitlyn Strachan.
Nalder did not take the court during the finals series, but Themann said she played a key role throughout the season.
‘‘Our team had one of the better bonds I’ve played in,’’ she said.
‘‘In netball you can go a whole season without really playing, but everyone played their role and everyone felt like they were a part of the team.
‘‘Our coaching staff Stacey West and Nicole Richardson did a brilliant job and we had the depth that was really important in the end.
‘‘It’s one of my highest achievements and it’s always good to beat NSW. The only other time I beat them was in underage netball and that doesn’t really count.’’
Malawi international goaler Mwai Kumwenda was the Fury’s star, but Themann played an important role at the other end of the court.
Usually a goal keeper, Themann was asked to play goal defence at different stages, including the opening quarter of the grand final.
She admitted she would need to work on her fitness to continue to play there, but her height meant she was better suited to the position and she enjoyed the experience.
A teacher at Flemington Primary School, Themann is planning to relocate to Scotland part way through next year in pursuit of another dream.
‘‘I’ve spoken to a few people in the last few weeks and they want me in the squad,’’ she said.
‘‘To represent my dad’s country would be amazing, so I’m moving over next year to train with them and get to know them before the qualifiers for the World Championships in Sydney in 2015.’’
Themann shared her ANL win with her mum, Anne, who still lives in Mooroopna, and cousins from her dad’s side of the family.
A Shepparton bus service that takes nightclub patrons home safely is celebrating its fifth anniversary of operation this weekend.
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It was a big day for Jye McNeil on Sunday, not only celebrating his 19th birthday, but riding a double at the Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club’s meeting, including the big one, the Vraca and Varapodio Italian Plate (1600 m), on the Gerald Egan-trained Jetconi.
Moama's Shirley Durrant has been wowing district pudding eaters for the past 23 years with her Christmas delights.
On Friday Rochester’s St Joseph’s Primary School opened a time capsule which was buried in the 1980s.
Waste collection in Campaspe Shire will change for two weeks during the festive season.
Valley Park Farms' egg production facility is expected to increase production and staff after a $100 000 Victorian Government grant.
Murchison’s Jane Spencer’s first exhibition It Just Dawned On Me will be on show in Shepparton in the first half of next year.
Lisa Milligan has started a new dog grooming business in Heathcote to help fund her Wild ABout Wildlife centre in Kilmore.
A group of volunteers have worked to revitalise the Cobram motorcross track to improve safety and attract new members to the club.
Federal Member for Farrer Sussan Ley says plans are in the works on how to get natural gas to Deniliquin.
New Transport Accident Commission research has revealed why some young country drivers habitually take risks on regional roads.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Parks Victoria and Country Fire Authority will be performing planned burns in Goomalibee on Monday.
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