FORMER Balaklava local, Tayla Williams, made her official debut for the Adelaide Thunderbirds over the weekend playing against West Coast Fever on the Sunshine Coast.
Tayla is the 100th player to debut for the Thunderbirds, and debuted alongside team members, Lenize Potgieter, Samantha Gooden and Georgie Horjus.
Mid-way through the first game of the season, coach Tania Obst, decided to take Tayla off the bench and play her at the wing defence position.
“It was very unexpected – there wasn’t any time for me to be worried or nervous,” Tayla said.
Tayla was lucky enough to travel with the Thunderbirds last Friday to their Sunshine Coast hub where they will stay for nine weeks and play two games per week.
“There are 10 contracted players normally, but due to the amount of games being played, they elevated two training partners to fill the squad size out to 12, and I was lucky enough to get a spot,” Tayla said.
Due to the uncertainty of when and where the Thunderbirds would finally start the season, it was a tough lead up to game day, and when training finally did resume it was all hands on deck.
“Everyone came out of the break ready to go, and ready to work hard,” Tayla said.
“This year will be tougher on the mental side of the game, everyone handles the changes of going into a hub differently, but the connections we form as a team should be great for our game.”
The Thunderbirds will play against the Giants in their next game where Tayla hopes to be selected again.
“Hopefully I’ll get some more court time in the next game – now I know it’s a possibility,” Tayla said.