WITH a GVL best-and-fairest medal, two VNL premierships – one as captain – and a GVL premiership under her belt, Kyabram Bombers’ Steph Vick seems to have the Midas touch.
However, she puts much of her success – including vice-captaining a thus-far undefeated A grade side – down to the support of her tight-knit squad.
“It has a lot to do with my teammates. I’ve been friends with some of them for years now, so we all know how to back each other up on the court,” she said.
“I’m also fiercely competitive with myself. Ever since I started I always had this mentality that I needed to do the best I could do and be the best I could be.
“I’m always trying to give 100 per cent.”
Launching her GVL career as a 16-year-old with Echuca Football Netball Club, Vick’s dynamic style has taken her across Australia, playing for various clubs and leagues in multiple states.
However, she says her friends, family – and teammates – have always led her back home to the Kyabram Recreation Reserve.
“I always knew I’d come back. I love my family and I love the country,” she said.
Vick said she counts her coach – tactical master Belinda Lees – her husband and her mum among her greatest inspirations.
“Living in the country, mum would often drive me to Melbourne two times a week to play netball,” she said.
“She even did it recently when I was playing VNL, so I could sleep on the way – she knew I needed the rest.
“She did it just because she wanted to support me in the sport I loved so much.”
With B Grade, B Reserve and U17s looking up to her, star centre Steph Vick hopes to be an inspiration to other young netballers.
“They are the future of the club, so it’s important we impress good standards on them,” she said.
“Firstly, they need to know it’s a team sport – regardless of how talented players are, it all falls apart if they are not playing as a team.
“Also, they need to understand how mental netball is – it’s not just about fitness and agility.
“If you build mental toughness, it will go a long way.”
As for increasing pressure as the Bombers approach the finals undefeated, Vick said a respect for other sides and constant drive kept the team sane.
“We may be undefeated, but it’s not the end – finals are a different story,” she said.
“People can look from the outside and think we’re winning easily, when in fact each game presents a different challenge.
“Last year many people backed Seymour to win the grand final – then we came out on top.
“We’ve been on the other side of that, so we understand you can never become complacent.”