After joining Magpies Netball as a training partner, we caught up with Mary Livesey to talk about her signing, what motivates her, and what she’s most looking forward to in 2018.
CAITLIN NOBES (CN): FIRSTLY, WELCOME TO THE MAGPIES. HOW HAS IT BEEN SINCE SIGNING AS A 2018 TRAINING PARTNER?
MARY LIVESEY (ML): I signed a couple of weeks ago now and because I was in finals at the time, I really had to concentrate on that. It was so exciting but I had to keep it to myself and put it aside until after the VNL Championship. Since the news came out, it’s been a bit overwhelming.
I don’t really talk about my netball that much, but everyone has been so supportive and really pleased for me. My family and friends are so excited, and I’m really looking forward to this opportunity.
CN: WE HEARD THAT YOU MISSED THE CALL FROM COACH KRISTY (KEPPICH-BIRRELL). TELL US ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED WHEN YOU CALLED HER BACK.
ML: When I saw I had missed a call from Kristy, I was stressing. I knew it couldn’t be anything bad, so I was really excited to give her a call back. When she offered me the chance to sign as a training partner for 2018, I was speechless. You don’t really know what you’re going to say in moments like that, but I was just extremely happy.
CN: YOU HAD A STELLAR SEASON IN 2017 WITH BOTH THE TASMANIAN MAGPIES AND THE DC NORTH-EAST BLAZE. WHAT WERE YOUR HIGHLIGHTS?
ML: For me, the highlight was being able to train alongside the Collingwood girls during the ANL season. We got to train with them once a week, which was really great to be able to experience that training environment.
With the DC North-East Blaze, the whole season was exciting. We had very much the same team from last year, with the same girls and coach. We didn’t quite make it to the Grand Final last year, so we were determined to get there this year.
CN: YOU BRIEFLY TOUCHED ON THE MAGPIES TRAINING ENVIRONMENT, WHICH YOU HAD A TASTE OF THIS YEAR. WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO ABOUT GETTING BACK TO THE HOLDEN CENTRE?
ML: I’m most excited about just being around the Magpies team. They are really supportive and just embrace all of the training partners and Tasmanian Magpies players. You’re never really left behind, as they just bring you up to their standards and really push you to perform at your very best.
CN: HOW DO YOU THINK TRAINING ALONGSIDE SHARNI LAYTON AND APRIL BRANDLEY WILL INFLUENCE YOUR GAME?
ML: They are two Diamonds and Australia’s best defenders, in my opinion. I think I am just going to learn as much as I can from them, and really push myself to that next level. In doing so, I will hopefully be able to get to their standard one day.
CN: HOW HAVE THIS YEAR’S TRAINING PARTNERS INSPIRED YOU?
One of the girls in my DC North-East Blaze team, Ella Bayliss, was a training partner this year. Her performance at VNL Championship level improved immensely, and you could really notice the difference. She learnt a lot of other qualities from Collingwood too, as she was a leader both on and off the court. She really stepped up and brought that training intensity back into our environment.
CN: ANOTHER OF YOUR INSPIRATIONS IS MO’ONIA GERRARD. TALK ABOUT THE IMPACT SHE HAS HAD ON YOUR NETBALL CAREER.
ML: She is a killer defender. I just love her style of defence, even though she was quite unorthodox in the way she played. She defended differently to other Australian defenders, but always got the ball and had such a big personality. You would always know when she was on court, as she had such a strong presence.
I then ran into her a few times at different trainings, and she was just so humble, kind and supportive. I really like that about her, and have always looked up to her.
CN: THERE ARE A LOT OF AMBITIOUS PEOPLE AROUND THE HOLDEN CENTRE. WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?
ML: I think it’s just the environment itself, it just motivates you being there. As soon as you walk through the doors, you know it’s time to pull out your best performance and train your hardest. Everyone is pushing to be the best they can be, and it’s hard not to be motivated when everyone around you is so switched on. There’s no one who will take the back seat or easy road, and every just pushes themselves to that next level.
CN: AND FINALLY, WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM YOU IN 2018?
ML: I think in the 2018 season, you will see a more mature player, willing to take on more leadership roles back at my club level. I really want to teach my team everything that I learn from being a training partner. I’ve always been a bit of a quiet player, just keeping my head down and training hard, but I think now it’s time to step up a little bit. I want to give a bit more guidance to the younger players and some of my teammates, and make the most of this amazing opportunity.