When Leah Shoard returned to play for Dapto in the Illawarra Netball Premier League, she had two goals for the season.
The first was to have some fun playing alongside former teammates, the second was to try and win a premiership in the club's 50th year.
She ticked off the first box, but an ACL injury has cruelled her chances of claiming a title as a player. Instead, Shoard is hoping to coach the team to victory when they play Wests in Saturday's Illawarra Netball grand final.
"We put the side together at the start of the year to be involved in the 50th season," Shoard said. "I haven't played for any other club in the Illawarra, I grew up through Dapto, under the late Jackie Johnson who was the heart and soul of this club.
"We've said this week, we're not just doing it for us, but for Jackie. She's not here anymore, but she'd be thrilled to hear we're all back playing, having a crack and having fun."
Dapto will run into an undefeated Wests team on Saturday, with the minor premiers dominating the competition this season.
Shoard recognises Dapto face a tough test, but she's confident they have the grand final experience to pull off the upset victory.
"They're a quality side, they've set the standard all year. They've been together for a long time and it shows.
"We've learnt we need to start stronger. They had a good start in the semi-final and we were in a bit of shock.
"We have a lot of experience in this team, we have girls who know how to win. If it comes down to a close finish, we should be able to hold our nerve."
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