An un­der­dog chal­lenge

Tay­lah Ste­ger talks giv­ing it a go play­ing in the Queens­land State Net­ball league

Central and North Burnett Times - - SPORT - Jack Lawrie jack.lawrie@cnbtimes.com.au

NET­BALL: A string of de­feats will not keep North Bur­nett net­baller Tay­lah Ste­ger down for long.

For the past six months, Ste­ger rep­re­sented the North Bur­nett in the un­der-19s divi­sion of the Wide Bay Thun­der­cats.

The Thun­der­cats fin­ished their sea­son the pre­vi­ous week­end, where they won no games.

They were part of a coun­try divi­sion along with the Rock­hamp­ton Capricorn Claws, but com­peted al­most en­tirely against Bris­bane-based teams, who put up fiercer com­pe­ti­tion than the team was ex­pect­ing.

“It was dif­fer­ent from play­ing in Monto, I’m used to play­ing friendly matches against the guys here,” Ste­ger said.

“Play­ing in Bris­bane is a huge step up; it’s more phys­i­cal, they’re taught to play more ag­gres­sively, they get up in your face.”

Train­ing was dif­fi­cult be­cause of how spread apart the team was.

“Hav­ing seven from Bund­aberg, three from Her­vey Bay and my­self from Monto, hav­ing to travel to Bris­bane ev­ery week­end was dif­fi­cult.”

De­spite the chal­lenges, Ste­ger said it was good ex­pe­ri­ence for her as a player.

“There was one game that we were close to win­ning against the Dar­ling Downs Pan­thers,” she said.

“The first game was re­ally tough, we were win­ning at three quarter time and went down in the last quarter.

“It was re­ally tough on us, we were work­ing so well as a team and then we just got un­lucky.”

Ste­ger could re­mem­ber play­ing net­ball as far back as the age of five.

“It’s my sport. Mum played when she was younger and my sis­ter plays as well,” she said.

Ste­ger played with Monto Net­ball As­so­ci­a­tion through to the age of 15, then be­came a coach for the un­der-12s and un­der-15s.

As a coach, she tried to pass on the idea that you should have fun, al­ways lis­ten and give it a go.

“That’s why I de­cided to give the Thun­der­cats a go. I wasn’t con­fi­dent in my­self with any of my sport, but this year some­thing came over me and I de­cided to go for it,” Ste­ger said.

“The worst that could hap­pen is you fail, but you learn from that.”

Ac­cord­ing to Ste­ger, see­ing her play­ing in Bris­bane on TV has en­er­gised some of the play­ers she coaches, and she’s en­cour­aged more to give it a go when they fin­ish up in un­der-15s.

Now that she’s 19, Ste­ger would have to try out for the even more chal­leng­ing open divi­sion to con­tinue with the Thun­der­cats.

PHOTO: JACK LAWRIE

ON THE COURT: Tay­lah Ste­ger just fin­ished rep­re­sent­ing Monto and the North Bur­nett in the Queens­land State Net­ball League.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

Ste­ger was picked twice for Player’s Player dur­ing her time with the Thun­der­cats.

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