THEY say successful sports teams are like a family. United, strong and resilient. That certainly rings true for the Hastings Valley netball team.
They recently claimed division one in the North Coast Regional League, dominating over three separate weekends to earn a call up to the State Cup – a competition they won last year.
Consisting of 10 women, all of who already play regular local games, the team were undefeated at the end of the competition, winning all 11 games at Great Lakes (in August), Macleay and Woolgoolga (both in September).
"I'm extremely proud of them. To win 11 games is amazing. They were very consistent," coach Michelle Marino said.
"They consistently improved throughout over the three days of playing. The team has great experience and are a really good bunch of girls who get along really well, which helps them gel on the court.
"Obviously their skills are superb and hopefully they can lift again to match the competition in Sydney."
The State Cup, which brings the best Metro and Regional teams in NSW together, was setup to determine the State’s best association in the opens age category.
It will be played over two days on October 13 in Sydney where Hastings Valley will be up against some stiff competition according to Marino.
"That's always a hard task, going up against the winners of each regions (seven in total)," she said.
"Plus there will be the winners from the metro league in Sydney so it really is top competition."
Marino said her team train weekly and individuals set aside time on their own to keep fit.
"The shooters are often down at the court practising almost daily. That is all on top of their other netball commitments, like regular competition games, so they're certainly putting in a lot of effort," she said.
"The game plan is pretty much about maintaining intensity from start to finish."
Games in the State Cup competition are longer quarters than the local competition.
"That is something we have had to address, keeping up that high intensity all the way through each quarter," Marino said.
"Practising their skills under fatigue has been a big part of their training."