Sport

NETBALL: Ellis aiming high to lead Wide Bay to finals

PUSHY, loves the contact, and is extremely confident in her accuracy: what more could you want from a goal shooter?

Tayla Ellis may be shorter than most attackers but the 17-year-old netballer is equipped to deal with the biggest - and tallest - challenges.

The Fraser Flame is one of two Fraser Coast players (with Tiaro's Jade Henry) in this year's Wide Bay Thundercats outfit, and she is confident her side has what it takes to go far.

"We have a very strong team; we'll give everyone a run for their money," Ellis said.

"The defence is very strong, our centre court is great at bringing the ball down and our shooters are very accurate.

"Our goal is to try our best and play the best netball we can. If we win it's a bonus. We'll all encourage each other and push each other to our limits."

Ellis said the obvious height difference between her and most defenders was a challenge she had to accept and overcome.

She credited Thundercats coach Sandy Baker with helping to develop her game to ensure she was always a threat.

"I'm a goal shooter, I don't play attack much," she said.

"I'd say I'm a bit pushy; I annoy my defender a lot to get the ball. I'd also say I'm accurate, I don't miss much.

"I can shoot from pretty far out - I prefer it to shooting in.

"Obviously my wing attacks and centres want me in closer but sometimes it's easier if you have a tough defender where you can't risk throwing it back out so you can take the shot."

This season will be completely different for Wide Bay's representative netball outfit.

Instead of the regular 12-team competition that was used this year, the teams will be split into city and country pools.

The winner of the five-team country pool, which includes Capricorn Claws, Whitsunday Sharks, Magnetic North Steelcats, Marlin Coast Marlins and the Thundercats, will progress to the finals, where they will meet the metropolitan teams.

"I think there is still a lot of travel," Ellis said.

"We have the one home game and we travel to Rocky, Mackay, Caloundra and Brisbane. It's still a fair bit of travel but it will be just as tough."

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