Fast learner: Swifts player Maddy Turner.Sitting on the couch back home in Adelaide, tuned in to last year’s World Cup, Maddy Turner experienced mixed feelings as she watched her future NSW Swifts colleagues in action for the national team.
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Excitement, anticipation and a fair dose of nerves churned around inside as Sharni Layton, Kim Green, Paige Hadley and Caitlin Thwaites got the job done for Australia, putting the Diamonds on top of the world.

Within a few months, Turner was in Sydney for a pre-season camp with her new side. A month after that, she arrived to live and moved in with teammates Stephanie Wood and Silver Ferns legend Laura Langman, another of the NSW side’s new recruits.

“I was just in awe at everything [that] was happening,” the 20-year-old defender says.

“I watched the World Cup from home and it all just felt pretty exciting and new. Watching Sharni playing and then thinking I was going to get the opportunity to work with one of the world’s best defenders, and living with Laura, I don’t think I could have expected anything better.”

Neither could the Swifts, it seems. Turner, who was awarded the most valuable player prize at the under-21 national championships, has played a part in every one of the team’s games this year, helping guide them to six wins from seven matches. On Sunday, she will likely play another important role as the Swifts look to secure victory over New Zealand side Mainland Tactix in Christchurch.

Some of her opponents across the ditch might look upon her with envy, given her opportunity to work with Langman, one of the Kiwis’ best.

“It’s really been amazing,” she says. “She’s been so supportive. Just watching the way she goes about everything, I can learn so much. It’s pretty cool.

“We talk about netball sometimes, sit around and do some video analysis together, talk about the games coming up or whatever. Just being able to talk to someone who’s got so much experience is really great for me.”

But her closest link on the court is with Layton.

“We’re different people when it comes to things like preparation. She likes to be a bit more pumped up than me, whereas I like to be a bit more relaxed than her. But she’s definitely a good mentor for me.

“It’s been incredible. I’m learning everything I possibly can from her, soaking up as much information as possible. She’s a legend of the game, for sure, and she’s teaching me new stuff all the time.

“It’s definitely been a surprise playing as much as I have since I got here. I didn’t expect to be involved in every game so far. Coming here, I thought I was just taking a risk. I’ve tried to just put my best foot forward and train hard. It’s going really well.

“There is plenty I need to work on, but I feel like I’ve made little improvements each week and just building connections on court with particularly Sharni, and everyone else.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.