Maddie Mueller has been on a rising path of success since graduating from Lakeside Netball in recent years, and now she’s looking to give some of the knowledge she’s learned from her games back to the association.
The young star is starting week in and week out for Maryville Tavern in the Greater Open Championship, is on the edge of making finals with Central Coast in the Metro League’s second division, and is involved with the Hunter Academy squad.
There’s plenty of lessons to be learned across those teams. New teammates always bring new learnings for the life-long netball player, and the challenges each club has brought along the way has made her a better player too.
Though her Maryville side didn’t make semi-finals in the Greater Open – they fell just eight points short of the top four – Maddi said she had a “great year” learning everything she could from top-level talent in Newcastle.
“Greater Open just finished and it was such a good time, I had so much fun. There was so much that I could learn,” Mueller said.
“The players that I played with are older than me, and they have such a different take on the game. They play a lot smarter than I have seen before so that was really cool to learn from them, and from their experiences.”
As well as the Greater Open campaign, Mueller was involved in the Hunter Academy’s run in the 2019 Academy Games. The development league went well, Maddi said, but mainly she loved learning to play alongside other stars.
“I loved playing with those girls, the whole team clicked really well and it showed me how everyone can work as a team and have fun together,” she said.
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Mueller has had a long history with Lakeside Netball, including playing in the association’s rep squad at State from ages 12 to 15. She was named captain of the squad in her final year, and embraced the leadership role with pride.
For Maddi, the teachings she’s gained since embracing the next step of her netball career have been special. What’s even “cooler,” Mueller said, is being able to go back to where it all began for her, and teach Lakeside’s next generation.
“I’m looking forward to going back to Lakeside and helping through Aspire with Sam [Poolman],” Maddi said. “Most of the girls there have seen me go through the system, and they know me well, so it’s great to still be really involved.
“I played my final year with Lakeside’s juniors last year, but I try to do as much as I can for the association. I umpire there, I coach my sister’s team there, and I try to help Sam as much as I can with her coaching program.
“I don’t think the girls there have a complete idea of how cool it is to have Sam come to Lakeside and share her experience. It’s something we never had when I was coming through at 11 or 12, so it’s really cool.
“It means so much to have Aspire development run at Lakeside. The girls at the club all love having Sam there and coaching us at such a high level. I also just have loved having the opportunity to help coach the younger girls at Lakeside.”
If you are interested in joining the Aspire program, you can register at aspirenetball.com/interest. The application process for the program’s limited spots has not yet opened, but will be available on Sunday, August 25.