Commonwealth Games aspirant Sam Poolman finds herself back on the courts this off-season.
On holidays and fresh from her most successful campaign, the Australian squad member and Greater Western Sydney Giants defender is at home in Newcastle both training individually and passing on knowledge to the next generation of players.
Driving the 26-year-old – a sense of giving back to the regional netball community she graduated from, going one better for the Giants in next year’s Super Netball league and returning to wear the national green and gold uniform in 2018.
Poolman debuted for Australia at the Fast5 World Series late last month but wasn’t named in the Diamonds team to contest a Test series in England and South Africa in January.
However, she hopes to be part of the Commonwealth Games training camp in Canberra beforehand to “put her best foot forward” ahead of the major tournament on the Gold Coast in April.
“I loved that weekend [Fast5] and the opportunity to show what I could do against international shooters, playing in that environment and wearing that dress,” Poolman said.
“I was extremely proud to do that, but now I’ve got to do what I can. Make sure I’m fit, continue working on the areas I need to and take another step in my game.
“I’ll put my head down and if there’s an opportunity I’d love it to progress towards the Commonwealth Games.”
In the meantime one of Poolman’s pupils has been Kotara 15-year-old Annie Neenan. A fellow defender from the Hunter Academy of Sport system and part of the Poolman-inspired ASPIRE program.
Elsewhere and trials for Hunter United’s 2018 Netball NSW Metro League division one team take place at the University on Sunday.