Finals in sight for GIANTS in 2021

HEADING into her third season with the GIANTS, Amy Parmenter is keen to see what the girls in the orange and charcoal can do this season, touting the impressive level of depth they have across the court as a real weapon.

“I think a big thing for us is just being united and playing defensive and attacking netball, all across the court,” Parmenter said. “We have such depth in our 10 like it’s a bit ridiculous, especially down in defence. “I think the fact that we have the ability to play all of our 10 is a really good advantage for us and that’s something we see as an advantage because, you know if things aren’t working, we won’t hesitate to change because we have options.”

On a personal level the highly talented wing defence, is becoming more confident credit to the strong connections she has formed across the court.

“I feel like I do have a bit more confidence in myself now I sort of know that I can play at this level and so that does like help a lot with just, you know, backing myself in and I also feel a lot more confident with the girls that I’m playing out on court with, I know, all of the GIANTS girls inside and out so I know that they’ve got my back out there and that only comes from, you know, playing in some pretty tough games over a few years so that’s really exciting.”

With Round 1 only days away, Parmenter is chomping at the bit, more than eager to get out on court but admits she still has trust issues given the unconventional year that was 2020.

“I’m so excited for Round 1, I feel like part of me still doesn’t believe that it’s coming up so soon because of last year and like I think I still have trust issues from them moving the starting date last year but I’m so excited. “I feel like it’s been the perfect amount of preseason, and now it’s like, it hasn’t taken too long to come around.”

With all eight sides forced to hub in Queensland for the seasons entirety in 2020 it was an incredibly unique experience for the players, but Parmenter highlighted just how much she took the little things for granted.

“I think it just makes us so grateful that we can go back to like the old way. I think, you know, moving away was interesting, probably a good experience in hindsight but you know, it makes us so grateful that we can come home and sleep in our own bed after a game and, get a bit of space after a loss or you know celebrate with your family when you have a win. I think they’re little things that I think I took for granted a bit. “This season I definitely won’t be doing that.”

Aside from the COVID-19 pandemic, the GIANTS had other controversies to deal with throughout the course of last season. Defender Kristiana Manu’a was sent off in their clash against Sunshine Coast Lightning for rough conduct while questions started to circulate about the culture of the club given the lack of court time Australian Diamonds goal shooter, Caitlin Bassett was receiving.

“From the outside it looks like it was all crazy and you know there were people questioning our culture and how good we were going to be and how good we’re going to perform, but to be honest, I feel like all those things made us closer, made us want to prove everyone wrong and you know show everyone what we’re really capable of,” Parmenter said.

“I think those things were tough, but I think you grow from those adversities and you know what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so I think it makes us confident that this season, we can pretty much get through anything.”

But with controversy comes an ability to learn from your mistakes and most importantly a capacity to withstand whatever is thrown at you, a mindset Parmenter and the GIANTS are hoping to adopt this season.

“I feel like we had quite a lot of adversity, so I think this year, we’ve had all that we’ve learnt from all of those experiences and I feel really close to all the girls I think we know how each other play now and none of us are babies anymore. I feel like we’ve had a bit of exposure to the SSN level and now I feel like we can actually, give all the good teams a run for their money,” Parmenter said.

Retaining majority of their squad from last season – all bar Bassett – Parmenter is hoping that her side will be able to build off the foundations they laid and can go one step further this season, yet to have played finals since she has been at the club.

“The 10 feels so connected, our 10 feels super connected and you know we did have the Aussie girls away for a little while but in the scheme of things it really wasn’t that long,” she said. “I feel like we’ve had a lot of time to connect, and get comfortable playing with each other.

“The last few years have sort of been building these for us. “We’ve like lost some of our big names a couple years ago and now I feel like we’ve had this ten for a solid two seasons so I’m really excited to see us actually consistently put it all together out on court.”

Preseason has been a great opportunity for the GIANTS to further solidify those connections against high quality Suncorp Super Netball teams with Parmenter noting the increased level of physicality as a main takeaway.

“I think the biggest take out from preseason games this year was just how physical this season is going to be,” Parmenter said. “All the teams we’ve come up against have just been, so strong it’s been massive battles. Some of the games we were saying, felt like they were actual season competitions so you can tell every team that we’ve come up against so far is, serious about playing well this season.

“It’s going to be really physical so being able to take the hits and, you know, embracing the physicality of the game instead of shying away from it is going to be a big one for us.”

In terms of game plan it is clear, be “consistent” and while the GIANTS have the likes of Jo Harten, Kiera Austin and newcomer Sophie Dwyer at their disposal inside the goal circle they do not want to rely on their long range shooting to keep them in the contest.

“It’s not something you want to rely on you don’t want to have to be like chasing two point shots to get back in the game but I think it is definitely something that is an advantage for us. We have three shooters who can all shoot from that range so I think it would be silly not to use that to our advantage, but it’s something that we want to use as a bonus, not as an act of desperation.”

The GIANTS kickstart their campaign tomorrow against the Adelaide Thunderbirds at Netball South Australia Stadium.

Picture credit: GIANTS Netball

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