IT’S all happening for star Leongatha netballer Taylah Brown.
She’s just moved to Melbourne to commence Year 12 studies this week at Wesley College after earning a scholarship, and she’s also stepping up her training for the 17&U Victorian team which will compete at the National Championships in Adelaide in April.
Taylah will play this season for Boroondara Express in the Victorian Netball League’s 19&U competition, and is the star recruit for Wesley College’s team that will play on Saturday mornings.
The move to Melbourne will mean less travel for her parents Brooke and Cameron who’ve taken Taylah to the city sometimes three times a week for the past couple of years after scouts recognised her talent.
Taylah has had a decorated junior netball career so far winning club and league best and fairest awards for the Parrots in the Gippsland League, and has played A Grade since she was 15.
It was when she was representing the league that she was first identified and selected for the Zone Academy Program.
Through this, she was picked for the 17&U state development team as a bottom age player in 2017.
She has continued to progress and made the top state squad of 12 for 2018.
“All the trials were held before Christmas starting with 70 players which was cut back to 40 and after four trainings the final 12 was selected,” Taylah said.
She said she enjoys the competitive nature of the trials.
“I don’t mind putting myself out there. Every trial is an experience so it’s important to have a crack.”
The Vics played a practice match last Thursday against the South Australia Sports Institute with Taylah spending time in wing defence and centre.
For Leongatha, she’s played in all positions accept wing attack.
“I’ve always mainly been a defender but I enjoyed shooting a few goals – every defender does!”
Despite standing 178cm, she’s not tall enough for a key defensive position at state level and is now thriving in mid-court roles.
Fitness is the key in these positions and Taylah has always gone the extra mile, joining Voyage Fitness in Leongatha 18 months ago.
“If you want to get there, you have to sacrifice a few things and my social life is probably one of them, but it’s all part of it.”
Voyage has sponsored her membership from the beginning through its Voyage Kids Foundation and will cover uniform costs for the national championships.
Dayna Andrews from Voyage in Leongatha is amazed at Taylah’s commitment.
“Taylah comes in for a 6am class even after getting back late from training the night before in Melbourne.
“We’re super proud of Taylah and jumped on straight away with sponsorship because we know what she’s capable of.”