At just 15 years of age, Wagga netball prodigy Sophie Fawns is showing signs of greatness.
Fresh from full senior seasons with Mangoplah-Coorkardinia United-Eastlakes in the Riverina League and Kooringal in the Wagga Netball competition, Fawns staked her claim as a future star after earning selection in the NSW under 17s representative side – the first Wagga player to do so since Jacqueline Murphy.
The six-foot sharpshooter attended the Canberra trials back in October and progressed through two squad cuts before finally receiving the good news.
“I was a bit nervous with the first few games at trials but then I started getting used it,” Fawns said.
“We had to wait a bit before I found out that I’d got through the first part and then a few weeks later we were told I made it.”
It’s the latest achievement in a blossoming career but the hard-working Fawns has certainly earned it.
Her gruelling training schedule – five sessions a week during the off-season plus playing commitments across three teams and Southern Sports Academy – proves she’s no slouch when it comes to preparation and MCUE coach Marie Campbell is confident Fawns has what it takes to make it to the top.
“I think she’s got the perfect temperament for it,” Campbell said.
“She’s this incredibly athletic kid with a massive reach and a cool head but there’s just no ego and no attitude at all and she’s open to coaching and learning from everyone around her.
“She’s got this amazing ability to absorb information and then apply it on the court.
“I’ve only seen her play this season but she’s come in leaps and bounds.”
A regular goal shooter at senior level, Fawns will be offered more on-court freedom in the NSW side after being selected in her preferred position of goal attack.
“I just prefer playing there – it’s a lot more running and more fun,” Fawns said.
Campbell is backing her to excel in the new position and says she’ll be a handful for opposition teams.
“I think it’s an amazing direction for her to go in,” Campbell said.
“She usually getting long bomb feeds but goal attack would be perfect for her with the extra stride length and that speed she’s got.”
With her sights set firmly on playing netball professionally, Fawns will be one to watch in the coming years.
“I don’t really follow any of the teams but I’d love to play for the Swifts or maybe the Giants one day,” Fawns said.