Netball: Eliza Perkins itching to get back out on the court

Career high point: Perkins in action for the Fury during last year's grand final. Photo: Cluster Pix Photography
Career high point: Perkins in action for the Fury during last year's grand final. Photo: Cluster Pix Photography

Eliza Perkins is approaching what remains of the season as her shot to prove herself as she looks to make the jump to that next level.

On the back of a fantastic 2019, punctuated by her GWS Fury side being crowned NSW Premier League under-23 champions, the Gunnedah-raised goal attack had come into 2020 with some big aspirations.

And she was well on her way to achieving them.

"2020 for me started out so well. I felt like this was the going to be the year I started ticking off some of those goals," Perkins said.

"Nationals were coming up, we were coming off a win in premier league which was incredible."

She had also been doing some training with the Swifts academy, which she described as "incredible".

"My first session I thought I was going to die it was so hard but I just loved it," she said.

Silver lining: Eliza Perkins says being back in Gunnedah and training on her old courts again has only pushed her to continue to pursue her netball dreams.

Silver lining: Eliza Perkins says being back in Gunnedah and training on her old courts again has only pushed her to continue to pursue her netball dreams.

"Just having that level of coaching and playing with girls that were at that level and that experience level was just awesome."

But then coronavirus hit and turned everything on its head.

Perkins waded the lockdown out back in Gunnedah, and is hoping to head back to Sydney in the next couple of weeks.

She will do so with an even greater drive to succeed, the time away reinforcing to the 19-year that this is what she wants to do.

"I think coming back to Gunnedah and training on my old courts, where it all kind of started, it's really pushed me and pushed me to want to do it and be named in those squads and prove myself out on that court," she said.

Perkins initially resented the situation - she "wasn't happy for everything to just stop" - but said it has been really good for her.

"All my family's back home together so it's been really nice to have that time together and just get on top of training, get on top of uni," she said.

She has been using the time to refine her game, doing daily sessions at the courts, as well as online sessions with the Fury and Swifts academy, and a lot of fitness work.

"I've been still shooting every day so I really want to come back and be really accurate," she said.

"I [also] want to be fitter when I come back than anyone else on the court."

Itching to get back out on the court again, when she will be able to again is still up in the air with the NSW government yet to make an announcement on a return date for senior community competitions.

This story Break motivates Perkins to work even harder as she chases netball dream first appeared on The Northern Daily Leader.