IT was a case of diving head first into the unknown, but Wagga emerged from a COVID-enforced absence from representative netball in style at the senior state netball titles in Sydney on the weekend.
Stepping up to division one after taking out the division two title last year, the under-17s finished 12th of 20 teams with eight wins, ten losses and a draw.
The under-15s finished third in division two with 14s wins, three losses and a draw, with players having not featured at state level for a few years after the junior titles were cancelled last year.
"We were a bit unsure what to expect because the girls haven't played since under 12s, and a lot of them haven't played state titles at all.
"It was just great to be back into it and you could definitely tell there's been a big chunk missing in these girls' playing careers, without going away in those high pressure situations.
"We were very happy with the result, we ended up third and if we could have got a couple of those games we dropped that were close, we could have finished higher."
The under-17s did their case to stay up in division one next year no harm with their performance, and some under-15s will move up into the system in 2023.
"Most of the time we get up to division one, it's a massive culture shock and we drop down," Norbury said.
"We tend to yo-yo between the divisions, but hopefully now we can get used to the pressure and play against the best teams in the state.
"It keeps you on the radar. (Wagga product) Sophie Fawns breaking into Super Netball (with NSW Swifts) has been great for Wagga because she's not shy in letting everyone know where she's from.
"It's keeping Wagga on the radar. We do have a lot of talent, and I think a lot of our talent has gone unnoticed for a few years.
"All the girls (in under-17s) are playing in the RFL or Wagga A-grade competitions. There is a couple who are making their way into state squads and things like that."
Wagga under-17s coach Rosemary Clarke said she was thrilled with her players' efforts in the association's first appearance in division one since 2019.
"It's an amazing result to finish 12th, to beat some of the leading metro teams like Manly and Penrith was great and it certainly shows a lot of promise coming into next year," she said.
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