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Fisher excited for first Steel home game - March 17, 2023

You would be hard pressed to find anyone more delighted about the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel playing on home turf this Monday night than George Fisher.

Not being courtside with her teammates has proved to be a tough gig for the injured shooter – exacerbated by a trifecta of challenging losses.

“It’s really nice when they come home from away games. They come back and I’m like a kid at Christmas because I have people to hang out with and annoy,” she said.

“It is so hard watching and not being able to even be there. You see things and you just want to support them in that moment and it’s not the same doing it from afar.

“There’s been some tough watches. They definitely haven’t been our best games but we’ve had so much interruption in the squad and you can see the potential and how good this team is going to be once they’ve had a little bit more time to settle and gel. It’s really good because everyone is getting that experience out there to play through it and they will be stronger for that.”

Fisher was confident the team would be spurred on by a legion of parochial Steel fans when taking on the Trident Homes Tactix at ILT Stadium Southland on Monday.

“We have such a good crowd and amazing fans. If the girls are going to bring it, it’s going to be down here with our fans cheering us on so I’m super excited. I can’t wait. I haven’t been to a netball game in ages.

“Although we’ve had three losses, there’s no need for us to go in scared. I want us to go in feeling confident because we are a great team and we’ve a great bunch of netballers.

“We need to take what positives we can from the games we’ve had and just build on them and solidify the basics. We just need to play that gritty dogged netball that Steel are renowned for.”

Fisher is now two weeks post-surgery after devastatingly rupturing her ACL during a preseason game in February.

“I’m on the mend. I’ve pretty much ditched my crutches so I’m kind of walking with just a wee bit of assistance there. I’m back in the gym starting to lift again and just basically rehabbing. I’m off all my painkillers and the scar is healing well,” she said.

“It’s highs and lows. At the moment I’m in my high stage where I’m starting to walk again and have more freedom so that all feels good. There’s definitely been lows. Some days pre-surgery I was so sad but I’ve got it in my head now that I’m not going to play for the next year and it will all be okay in the end so I just need to ride the wave of that.

“It fuels the fire. I think last year netball-wise I probably wasn’t that happy with my performance so this year I came in and I was really pumped to be with the girls and we’d really started to click … then I did my knee and I was like ‘No! This is meant to be my year!’. But its sport, stuff happens. I’m a lot more determined now to get back on court.

“I also have a huge change in gratitude to be doing the ugly sessions – the running, conditioning, heavy weights. The girls were doing a yo-yo test the other day and I was like ‘how I miss it’. I think they thought I’d gone slightly mad but it is literally a case of you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.”

Confronted with a major injury on the opposite side of the world to her family in England, Fisher was grateful for fiancé Brayden Inger and her Steel family.

“It’s hard not having my family but when I got approved for surgery, my mum flew out to surprise me. I was completely gob smacked. Brayden, shock horror, two days pre-surgery rolls his ankle and he was in a boot so we both couldn’t really walk. So I rang mum crying about ‘why is this happening’ and she was like ‘it’s okay, I’m in Sydney on my way’.

“That genuinely put such a perk in my step and has helped me so much. And the girls are always checking on me and make me a huge part of the team still. I feel very supported.”

Fellow shooter Georgia Heffernan, who suffered an ACL injury in 2021, has been an inspiration.

“Georgia has just been incredible and a huge help. She’s obviously just come out the other side and having her around is awesome to just see how well she’s doing and how good her body is. She’s playing amazingly well,” Fisher said.

“We’ve had the same surgeon and it really reinforces that I will get through this and I will be fine.”


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