EACH week the Draft Central team will focus on one Suncorp Super Netball player across the round and take a look at their individual highlights, key moments and improvements across their match. Our Round 3 focus is West Coast Fever’s Sunday Aryang with the young defender exploding out of the blocks in the opening rounds and able to have a significant impact off the bench. Each set of notes showcases the opinions of our writers individually.
Ethiopian-born Aryang was brought into the Fever side in 2019 as a bench replacement when Courtney Bruce was out with injury and has rarely taken a backwards step. While she did not make many appearances last season, the young gun has made her presence felt on court in 2020, able to add another string to the Fever’s defensive bow with her long arms and burst of speed to create a deflection. Her versatility to rotate through all three defensive positions is huge for the Fever, and her Round 3 effort saw her rack up four gains (three intercepts) and just five penalties to her name to go with her one general play turnover in 50 minutes of game time. At only 19 years old, expect big things from the tenacious youngster.
Here’s what we had to say:
By: Sophie Taylor, Draft Central Senior Editor
Aryang put out a phenomenal performance in a losing effort on Tuesday evening, heading up the defensive unit in goal defence and applying a huge amount of pressure to the GIANTS attack with her hands over pressure, leap and intensity consistent throughout the four quarters. In her most significant performance so far, the youngster did not shy away from a challenge and was unafraid of hunting the ball in the centre third, staking her claim on the court cleanly and coming away with a few crucial stats to her name. Aryang had very little snags in her performance and stood up well against some highly experienced competition, showcasing her ability to impact both on and off the body with her defensive prowess on full show. Overall, Aryang’s level-headedness was one of her greatest assets on the court, not throwing a heap of turnover ball away and able to swiftly transition between applying defensive pressure to charging down the court. While she did collect a few centre pass break penalties, it signified her intent for the ball and is something that we are sure to see her improve on over time.
By: Taylah Melki, Draft Central Managing Editor
The youngster came out with a real intensity and fire in the belly going toe-to-toe with Jo Harten in the opening quarter. Strong in defence with her three-foot marking, Aryang showcased her impressive drive down court to send the ball into attack while her constant back-up play on the transverse line allowed the Fever to reset time and time again. She impressed with her clever body positioning in the circle to block out Harten and Caitlin Bassett on the rebound while her contest in the air was also key. Aryang closely marked Harten throughout the game and worked hard to own front space and force Harten behind her. The goal defence was elusive on court, able to read the play and quickly slot into the space such was her speed. She showcased her versatility seamlessly moving into goal keeper and adapting her game play accordingly. She was not fazed by the experience of Bassett and instead backed her aerial presence and nifty footwork to manoeuvre around the body and take a couple of strong intercepts.
By: Lucy Pollock, Draft Central UK Writer
Aryang put out another fantastic performance against the GIANTS in Round 3. She has something very special in terms of defensive ability and a desire to hunt for the ball, but it was her attacking play that really impressed me in this game. She did a huge amount of work bringing the ball down court and supporting on the transverse line, which can be a weakness for young defenders at this level. Aryang did well not to get caught up by the speed of Harten and caused a lot of disruption with her rangy arms and impressive vertical leap. She was persistently going for every ball and was also crucial for the Fever in terms of being quick on her transitions from defence to attack. Although she went to the bench at half time, she came back in at goal keeper as Fever shuffled their defensive unit to try and gain control of the match. Her height is a huge advantage in providing versatility, and her acceleration is surprising for a very tall player. She is undoubtedly a very exciting prospect for the West Coast side, and what a great start to the SSN season from the youngster.
By: Kate Cornish, Draft Central volunteer writer
At just 19 years of age, there is no doubt that Aryang has already caught the eye of the netball world. Making her SSN debut this year, she is certainly one of the exciting young prospects the condensed format of the 2020 season (which has permitted a larger squad size) has allowed us to meet. Matching up against English international and GIANTS captain, Harten in the Fever’s round three clash was never going to be no easy feat for Aryang, but in this season there is no time to be overwhelmed by the occasion. During the game, commentator and ex-Australian Diamond captain Laura Geitz (who has qualifications to spot a rising defensive star) was full of praise for the youngster, comparing her to goal defence, Karla Pretorius. This is quite the compliment, considering Pretorius has been the benchmark for the goal defence position for a few years. Aryang took three intercepts during the game and was unlucky to not be awarded another two when it looked like she had both hands on the ball and great front position. She fought valiantly to keep her team in the competition with four gains and while Harten enjoys the more physical style of play on an opponent, Aryang finished the game with only four contact penalties against her name, indicating she was in play for most of the game and was able to contest ball. Also showing her flexibility and diversity on court, Aryang stepped into the position of goal keeper during the match and made an immediate impact taking a beautifully timed intercept. In the end, despite a solid effort by the young defender the experience of Harten and the determination of the GIANTS to not only get their first win for the season but to celebrate 200 matches for Bassett was too much for Fever, however the opportunity to play against one of the best goal attacks in the world will have provided Aryang an understanding of what it takes to win at the elite level and giver her some tangible improvements to reflect on as the season rolls on.