Let's Be Frank

Let’s Be Frank: Losing is lonely

I have always joked with teammates before that when you lose, no-one tends to message you. Friends, fans and family mysteriously disappear and when I return to my phone after a game, it usually has me checking whether a lack of signal is the reason why I haven’t even got a telesales text. Let’s also assume they aren’t adopting the ‘haven’t got anything nice to say…’ mentality and that the variety of time differences that my friends and family are on are making instantaneous communication that little bit harder.

I would say that I am a pretty proactive person. I am comfortable in my own company and if I don’t have someone to do something with, I am happy to go about a variety of activities on my own. I feel like you shouldn’t put off doing things you want to just because you don’t have someone to enjoy them with. All of these things combined to make moving across the other side of the world (literally) on my own an easier task for me than most. However, of late I’ve been feeling pretty lonely. I don’t write this to try and garner sympathy, simply to be honest. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been sat crying over pictures of my family and friends or even been camped out in my room for the hours between training sessions. But, I have felt lonely.

When the GIANTS came to Perth for two pre-season fixtures, I had the chance to catch up with Jo (Harten) and Serena (Guthrie) for breakfast around our busy schedules and it was brilliant. I didn’t really realise until then how much I had been missing company. Not just company but the ability to relax amongst some long term friends, English ones at that.

West Coast Fever is a pretty unique team in that 60% of the girls are originally from WA and so have a well-established lifestyle and support system around them. Another 20% have been living in Perth for at least two years and so too are well settled into their own routines away from the training environment. That leaves the final 20% to which I belong. Shannon is an out of stater having moved over from Melbourne, however, luckily, her long term partner also made the exciting move across with her. Which ultimately leaves me, the Pom!


When I lived in Christchurch (NZ) and overwhelmingly so in Bath (South West England) the large majority of people had relocated to the area to be a part of the netball program, and so, the reliance that we had on each other away from the court was more than usual. Many of us lived together and there was a far larger emphasis put on the social side of things.


This is something that is different in Australia, in comparison to England. As netball moves to becoming even more professional and the demands on your time become greater, the more the hobby that I have grown up with begins to feel like a job. With that, the amount of your ‘free’ time that you seem to spend with your teammates definitely decreases.

 

Despite engaging in a lengthy list of activities away from the court, I have found that the older you become, the harder it is to make new friends. You are so much more suspicious of a person who asks you out to coffee or suggests that you meet up than you would have been if you were a kid. With this being said, the weekend before the season started I was lucky enough to take a trip to Sydney to spend quality time with my partner and a little bit more of Serena and Jo action. Over Easter we have a reprieve from team training and I will be jumping on a jet plane again to visit my partner and several friends in Auckland.

My parents are days away from arriving and I genuinely cannot wait. The netball calendar Gods aligned to allow us a run of three games at home, which will enable us to get some quality family time in amongst my usual netball and work commitments. At the moment I’m likening my loneliness to that feeling you get when you really need a wee. The need to go builds with each step closer to the toilet, the nearer you are and with every button undone the desperation begins to build until you can’t control yourself anymore… hurry up Francis Family, let’s take Perth by storm!! 


Frank x
Twitter/Instagram: @StcyJyneFrancis

Applications for friendship should apply via written correspondence to:
Lonely Loser
State Netball Centre
200 Selby Street, Jolimont

You can catch me and the team in action with a Fever in the City 3 Game Membership!

 

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