Central Pulse midcourter Whitney Souness putting her best foot forward
Judge Whitney Souness on how she finishes the Central Pulse's season.
This is the midcourter's third campaign at this level. At least in theory. But Souness will best remember 2015 for calf problems and the presence of Liana Leota in her preferred wing attack bib, while last year was lost to a knee ligament rupture meaning this is the 21-year-old's first real crack at elite netball.
"I'm happy with how I'm going but I think I could definitely do more and get better. I'm not where I want to be with my game, but hopefully it will come as I keep playing," Souness said ahead of Monday's clash with the Northern Mystics at TSB Bank Arena.
"I've learnt to be a lot more patient, especially after my injury. I'd never had a big injury before so it took me a lot to [learn] to wait."
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Souness had been due to attend her first Silver Ferns trial, when she injured her Anterior Cruciate Ligament during Wellington's win over North Harbour in the 2015 NPC final. There was nothing spectacular or gruesome about the incident - as Souness tried to stop a ball going out of court - and she initially attempted to play on.
She eventually accepted her winners' medal with the aid of a crutch and then didn't step back on a court for months.
Souness has now strung four games together for the Pulse, who sit second in the national premiership, finding her niche along the way.
"Until this year I didn't really realise how important the role was as a wing attack. I've just learnt so much from Yvette [Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie] about the midcourt. It's quite a lot to absorb but I'm trying to take it all on board," she said.
"I just like the speed I get to use. I get to do a lot more than I felt I got to do at centre [in terms of] trying to control the attacking end and taking charge a a bit more."
Working with goal shoot Cathrine Tuivaiti has been a highlight. Souness had long admired the former Silver Fern's game from afar and has been delighted by what she's seen and learned now they're team-mates.
Souness and Te Amo Amaru-Tibble are old Wellington team-mates and have an established understanding and then there's the team's third shooter Tiana Metuarau. At 16, Metuarau is as close as Souness has to a contemporary in the team.
"We're always talking and it's cool having someone younger so we can joke around, but at the same time get the job done too."
Katrina Grant, Phoenix Karaka, Claire Kersten and Sara Bayman are likely to ensure the Pulse are pretty sound defensively this season, with attack the most likely end of the court for growth.
"I definitely know we can give a lot more. Hopefully through our games we'll just get better and better," Souness said.