Kelsey Browne: 'There was a real hunger to be there'

2 days ago

We chatted to midcourter Kelsey Browne about the 2022 Suncorp Super Netball season.

Sophie Taylor

The 2022 season has come to a close, with the Pies overcoming everything thrown at them for a finals berth last week.

Kelsey Browne reflected on the season that was.

Tell us a little bit about how the Pies have navigated the challenges of the season.

I think we did have a lot of adversity thrown at us this year and I think more so than other years, we just sort of got on with it pretty quickly. I think we knew that this season was going to be up and down and I think as a team we really banded together and actually figured out solutions instead of just harping on the issues that were going on. I think we found solutions pretty quickly and we moved forward. And I think it's a credit to the team as a whole on court and off court that we've actually just got this really good culture that if people go down other people can step in, and they feel really confident to get on court. So I'm really proud of how we handled things and I think it was very solution based.

How about the moment that you realised that the Pies had a real chance at finals?

it was a pretty crazy season. I mean, playing two games, winning them and then moving nowhere on the ladder and staying seventh, I don't think has ever happened in my career before. So to see that happen during the year and sort of think, are we even close and then as you said, get a real taste of 'wow, we could be in finals'. I think it was a really sweet ending to a tough season and out of all the teams, we did have a lot of adversity, so to finish in the top four with everything that we went through... I think that feeling was just a real hunger to be there. Although it didn't go our way on Saturday against the Giants, I still think finishing in the top four is a huge achievement in the season this year with how strong all of the teams are.

What do you think changed in the second half of the season?

I honestly think our mindset just ended up being very focused on the job at hand and just process-driven - we'd review a game, we'd really implement what we needed to do in the week after and we'd actually execute that instead of it being a whole lot of talk and not much action. I actually think we decided that, you know, if we're going to be a real contender here in this competition, we're going to need to get serious about having hard conversations in review and actually actioning what is coming out of that. And I just think the excitement around being close, getting wins on the board and really feeding off that feeling of winning, I think propelled us into what was a really good and solid end to the season.

What do you think worked well within the group?

I think we've got an amazing combination of personalities with our support staff, our coaches our players, our training partners, and I think all of that meshed together creates a really exciting environment to be in. So I do think the personalities and the people that we have on board at the moment and how you fit into that landscape, I think everyone sort of found their way this year and sort of knew where they sort of sat. And I think that makes it a really comfortable place to kind of work and if you're working in a comfy environment, then you you're going to succeed.

Is there anyone that you think really stood out or stood up on or off the court?

I think all of our training partners, I really want to give a shout out to them. It's tough. It's a tough gig being a training partner and I think a lot of us have done it before. You'd never say it was easy. You have to rock up with next to no recognition for the work that you're putting in, but to see a lot of them get an opportunity, absolutely grab it with both hands and really step up when the team needed them. I mean, at times we had well about four contracted players. In really crucial games like Round 14, we had three of our main players out and to have them come in, do an incredible job., get their debut which is really exciting for them, I think I want to give a massive shout out to our training partners because I've never seen so many get opportunities during the year and so many absolutely thrive under pressure.

Away from the group's development, how did you find your own season?

Yeah, I feel like I'm always just looking to do a little bit more in every single season and I've just finished an exit meeting where... Yeah, I think a lot of the stats and the really tangible things that you can look at, I was pretty happy with how everything progressed and I just know that I can always get better and I'm, you know, coming into my ninth season I'm still finding ways to improve so I'm happy with my season. I just always want to go out and do what I can for my team but also what I can do for my teammates, and I feel like I grew in that space this year.

Tell us about your favourite moments from the season.

It's a really strange one, but I loved the feeling of it, that final game versus Vixens in front of the record breaking crowd. Although we didn't get the win, it fully felt like we did. And I feel like going into that game, I felt really clear on what the team needed to do and where we need to finish at the end of that game. So finishing that game as much as you know, it was a bit of confusion, the absolute excitement around knowing that we've got another week, we're hanging on, we've made the top four and we've set out to achieve what we'll be seeing as a successful season in finishing fourth and making finals. I think all of that and that feeling in the change rooms afterwards just felt amazing. So I think that would probably be my favourite moment. It just felt like every single person that stepped on court or had something to do with us this year, it just felt like a reward for what we've gone through as a group.

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