Rising star aiming to shine with Thunderbirds

02 Mar 2017

Outstanding young netballer Emily Burgess is living the dream.

Selected in the Thunderbirds squad in the new-look Suncorp Super Netball competition, Emily, 20, is settling into her new life well after a hectic few months of pre-season training and playing.

Originally touted as a training partner with the team Emily, 20, accepted a contracted position with the squad - offered by new coach Dan Ryan.

It has been a tough learning curve but one that Emily is embracing.

"It has been pretty enjoyable so far,'' she said, "I have learned a lot from the older players. It has been tough and challenging and a lot different to what I have been used to.''

Emily, who mainly plays wing defence, lined up in the team's opening-round win against West Coast Fever.

"To play before your home crowd and family was great and probably helped us late in the game to get up and win,'' she said.

She didn't get court time in the team's loss to Sydney Swifts in round two but is training hard to get back into the starting line-up.

The Bordertown product caught the eye of coaches and officials when she made the SA schoolgirls under-15 team, progressing to other state teams along the way.

Last year she won the SA Sports Institute (SASI) netball program award.

"That was a big thrill and honour and to meet so many other athletes who had been to the Olympics was great,'' she said.

She said the SASI program had been fantastic for her development and that past SASI program coach Tania Obst had been a huge influence on her career and development.

Emily's week, during the Suncorp Super Netball League season, focuses on plenty of training, video analysis of games, team planning and weight and conditioning sessions.

At the end of the NNL season Emily may be eligible to return to her district club Matrics, depending on how much court time she chalks up in the national competition.

Emily is studing law and commerce at Adelaide University although she is not sure what she wants to do at the end of her course.

With little time for hobbies or other interests the Essendon supporter (AFL) with the nickname of Burgo is hoping to celebrate her first official contract with a big season.

Emily Burgess