Fast5 Netball World Series - Sam Poolman
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Fast5 Netball World Series

Fast5 Netball World Series

Fast5 was an incredible experience and everything l thought it would be plus more! With the opportunity to be in and out of Diamonds Camps training for Fast5 began pretty quickly after the Suncorp Super Netball season was finished. I knew l needed to be as fit as l could to be able to keep up with the speed and game style of Fast5!

The Fast5 Netball World Series is a different approach to netball, featuring dynamic rules changes including five players a side, shorter quarters, power plays and super shots. All teams played six 24 minute games across the two-day series.

We are very fortunate at the Giants to have an incredible strength and conditioner, Simone Freeman, who worked hard to prepare me for the competition and mostly importantly gave me the confidence that l was ready to go.

I was lucky enough that Julie Fitzgerald (our coach) put together on court training sessions and some team mates would come in and train with me on their off season (which was very nice of them!)

We headed into a Fast5 camp two weeks before the competition. The first day there was lots of excitement and energy in the room. We were finally all together for the first time and some of us the first time to play Fast5 and represent Australia so lots to be excited about! Stacey (our coach) set the standard for the camp and how we were going to play on the Fast5 stage. It was up to us to then drive this!

As a defender, the Fast5 game isn’t easy and there is lots to think about when your job is to stop the shooter from scoring. With a quick speed there’s no time to stop and think and it’s essential to focus on how to be effect in the moment.

After three days of camp we walked away with a clear understanding of what our strengths were and where our gaps where.

We then had two weeks back in our home states to train hard, be prepared and finally got our heads around how to play the game and well!

Finally, the tournament arrived. For me l had been training for months so it was exciting to finally have a chance to play! The week leading in we had plenty of on court training and match play against the Men’s Victoria Netball Team – which helped with the speed of how they can play the game.

The day before we had an opportunity to go to the arena and check it all out. An empty stadium with lots of colour and lights everywhere. I had watched it over the years on TV so to finally be on the court seeing it all was pretty cool.

Finally, the weekend had arrived and it was a chance to play some Fast5! The nerves were unreal – to run out in a fun way with music and lights everywhere was pretty cool. The hype is something l will never forget and to start the game representing Australia was a very proud moment for me!

We ended up with the Bronze in the tournament – which wasn’t our goal heading into the weekend. However, to beat New Zealand and stand in the final, singing the National Anthem, was a very proud moment. I was lucky enough to have family in the stands who were also incredibly proud and l think a few tears for them in the moment.

Image courtesy of Giants Netball

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