(Via The West Australian)
West Coast Fever recruit Alice Teague-Neeld doesn’t see herself as a replacement for dumped champion Nat Medhurst, but has vowed to help the club go one better in the 2019 Super Netball season.
Teague-Neeld began pre-season training with a handful of her new teammates last week following her controversial signing with the club.
The 22-year-old goal attack was the target of criticism on social media after it was revealed the beaten grand finalists had chosen to axe Medhurst in favour of the Victorian, who has spent the past two seasons largely playing off the bench at a star-studded but misfiring Collingwood.
Medhurst, 34, ended up signing a two-year deal with the Magpies, a move that will do nothing to diminish the rivalry between the clubs.
“I don’t really see it as a replacement player,” Teague-Neeld said. “Lots of people move. It’s just an opportunity and I’ve taken it.
“I stay away from that (social media comments). People think they know everything but really the stuff that matters is the people in the inner circle.
“Everyone loves beating Collingwood. I’m happy to be on the other side now and I want to beat Collingwood too.”
Teague-Neeld admitted she was shocked and excited when she received the initial approach from Fever coach Stacey Marinkovich.
“I’d always kind of said that I’d never move interstate if I had the opportunity to stay in Melbourne but be careful what you say because things change,” she said. “For me, it was a good chance to step out of my comfort zone in netball but also in life. I was living at home in Melbourne.
“The last two years have been challenging in lots of ways but I’ve learnt a lot about myself.
“It didn’t go to plan of what we (at the Magpies) expected but that’s sport and you can’t always predict what’s going to happen.
“I probably wouldn’t change it because you have to have those lows.
“Stacey has been so positive and welcoming. She said she was excited to see what I can do and what she can do while working with me. The message has been that I’ve got a lot to offer.
“I am still young and still learning and I’m keen to learn as much as I can.”
Teague-Neeld is confident she will work well with superstar shooter Jhaniele Fowler in the goal circle, but she won’t get the chance to train with the towering Jamaican until March.
Kaylia Stanton is the club’s other shooting option going into 2019.
“Jhaniele’s a bit of a star and I’m so excited to work with her,” Teague-Neeld said. “I think everyone in the competition was in awe of her.
“I would describe myself as being quite smart and quick. I kind of read the play and work with and around the people in attack.”