We chat to incoming midcourter, Maddie Hinchliffe, about her journey to the Magpies and what she brings to the squad in 2023.
The 2023 Suncorp Super Netball season is on its way, with our squad of 10 revealed and raring to go.
Newcomer Maddie Hinchliffe runs us through some of our biggest questions ahead of her move to Melbourne.
This is your first major contract after being an injury replacement in 2022 - how was that feeling, receiving the call from Nicole Richardson?
It was an amazing feeling! Definitely a day I have dreamed of for a few years now, so to receive that call was very special. I have been lucky enough to get a few opportunities to play at the SSN level as a replacement player, however to be named an official part of the contracted 10 is something I will never take for granted and something I am very grateful to Richo and the wider Collingwood Club for believing in me.
Tell us a little bit about your journey to the Pies.
I started playing netball at Brisbane Netball Association when I was seven-years-old. I progressed through the Queensland pathway which starts at playing representative netball for your local association, then playing for your region at state league (Brisbane North Cougars), and also for Queensland at the U17, U19 and ANL national competitions.
Being a training partner for the last five years has been a great experience and one that has taught me many lessons! Whilst there have been missed selections along the way, my absolute passion for the game and the incredible friendships have kept me motivated to strive towards the goal of earning a contract.
Who’s helped you along the way?
Every coach and teammate I have had the pleasure to work with have had a significant impact on my playing career - whether that be to pass on their passion for the game, hone my skills as a GA and later WD/C, or give me opportunities to chase my dream.
However, Liz White and Amanda VanderWal at Brisbane North Cougars are the two coaches who have made the biggest difference in my skills and confidence. They took a chance on me when they picked me in their U17 Queensland side (that went on to win Nationals) which gave me my first taste of high performance netball, and then continued to support me through the ups and downs.
In terms of players, my sister Tara will always be my biggest role model as I have watched her grow and achieve incredible things in both the netball space and her other life ventures. It has been super special to share this journey with her, but it will be serious business when we line up against each other next year!
Do you have any favourite netball moments?
I have very fond memories of the 5am starts for netball carnivals as a junior playing for Brisbane Netball Association - mud, great food (thanks parents!) and lots of laughs. Another highlight would definitely be winning the U17 Nationals in 2015 and going through the competition undefeated - it was a great bunch of girls and coaches and I couldn’t have loved it more!
How would you describe your personal game?
As a taller midcourter, I probably play a sightly unconventional role compared to the typical C and WD. I like to think I can use my height as a great advantage and my long arm span to cause some havoc and deflections. I love to work as a unit to create that pressure cooker environment for the opposition, but remain calm and composed in attack to really capitalise on the defensive work.
Apart from your skillset on court, what do you think you offer to the Pies squad?
Whilst I may be considered an older ‘rookie’, I am hoping to bring some new passion and energy to the group. I really love getting involved with the wider netball community and supporters, so I can’t wait to immerse myself and share my love of the game. I am also keen for some adventures and to get to know Melbourne and the surrounds, so I’ll always be up for a day trip or foodie outing!
How keen are you to get down to chilly Melbourne for 2023 preseason?!
I am so excited! In a controversial opinion, I don’t actually love the heat of summer so I’m ready to test myself against the Melbourne weather. I can’t wait to make the move, get to know the girls and get stuck into preseason so we can set ourselves up for huge success in 2023!