GIANTS goal attack Sophie Dwyer has gone from a training partner fresh out of high school to a household name in just over a year – something she puts down to all the extra hours spent at the post.
All the way back in round 1 of the 2021 Suncorp Super Netball season, GIANTS Netball goaler Kiera Austin – and Australian Diamond debutant – hit the deck under the ring in Adelaide off a strong lead clutching her knee.
In that moment, Austin, who had spent all of 2020 building a formidable partnership with shooter English Rose Jo Harten, was ruled out for the season with an ACL injury.
While one door closed, another was thrust open for Dwyer who has gone on to show her skill to turn to the post and shoot long.
Back in 2020, Dwyer said she expected to be a training partner at GIANTS Netball just playing NSW Premier League – before that all changed.
“Last year was my first year out of school and then [because of COVID-19] the squads were extended to 12,” she said to Tommy Casha on Having A Chat.
“I was to have my study, sports and exercise science at UTS, thinking I was going to do that and going to classes on campus. When the hub happened that all changed.
“I thought I would play Premier League in NSW for my club and that was it… it is a dream that you get to go [as a training partner], especially being my first year.”
While GIANTS did have some mainstays on the attacking end, Austin was taken to Queensland to continue to train – learning from the likes of Austin, Harten and Caitlin Bassett.
She got on court twice and remained an important part of the bench otherwise, she said she was just happy to have played in a Super Netball match.
Now, she’s a regular starter in a GIANTS Netball side that looks to be genuine title contenders.
Their success is coming from everywhere on the court – but Dwyer’s ability to turn and shoot is something she takes pride in as she knows she worked hard.
“It sounds cliché but the shooting started from a young age. In the Under 12 and Under 15s rep teams, I was always there 30 minutes before and after to shoot,” she said.
“As I get older, I don’t want to get to the stage where I need to worry about [my shot], I know I can turn and shoot.
“It is a quality I have as I know I can turn and shoot long-range – it really comes down to practice and it is really paying off.”
Thanks to Having A Chat with Tommy Casha for the interview.