She may only be 16 years old but Stawell’s Tessa O’Callaghan is already taking the netball world by storm.
The young gun’s netball career has gone from strength to strength in the last 12 months, with plenty of opportunities coming her way.
She is involved in a wide range of netball sides at various levels, sharing her talents between competitions at Ballarat and the Wimmera.
She competes for North Ballarat’s under 17 side in the Ballarat Netball League, participates in the zone academy, respresented the BNL's interleague side, plays for her school and still finds time to play for Stawell’s A Grade side on a semi-regular basis.
Whenever O’Callaghan is available she comes back to represent her home club at the Wimmera Netball Association’s top level.
“It has been great to come back and play when I can,” she said.
“It is always nice to play with my home club – it’s like a family to me.”
O’Callaghan – still very inexperienced in her netball career – said she is still learning about the game and adjusting to the faster tempo of A Grade competition.
“It is much different to juniors. It is great to have some experienced players like Lisa Fleming and Jade Cross to coach me throughout the game,” she said.
“I have learnt to be smarter with the ball and not rush as much. You can’t just chuck the ball around at that level, you have to think a lot more about what you do.”
O’Callaghan’s talents have already been recognised, having been selected as part of the training squad for the Ballarat Sovereigns under 19 training squad.
She was set to make her debut for the team this weekend but will miss due to other netball commitments.
She will represent AFL Goldfields at Australia’s biggest junior netball tournament at the Gold Coast next week.
“I’m really looking forward to competing against different teams and facing different challenges,” O’Callaghan said.
“It will be a day on, day off type thing for nine days. We will play a few games one day then the next we get to have a look around the Gold Coast which should be lots of fun."
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