After a run of close contests Sharon Finnan-White feels her Indigenous Diamonds are building nicely into their inaugural debut season with the Townsville city netball premier league competition.
The side are the first step of a larger plan to introduce an all Indigenous side into the top tier of the game.
Still looking for a maiden victory, Finnan-White said the right signs are there.
Following interruptions with public holidays, adverse weather and playing in unfamiliar territory the group recently rallied to trouble a stacked Cathedral outfit, almost snagging an upset win.
Playing undersized, underaged and with no experience at the level was always going to be a test for the group.
“I feel like when matching it with the other teams in terms of skill and speed, It’s just playing up at that level is another thing, something completely different that they’re not used to,” Finnan White said.
“And I think it’s going to take a few more games before we actually find our feet.
In recent weeks the coaching staff have opted for a change of tact, drilling down into what inspires the team to instill some extra drive through the remainder of the season.
“We sat down and we had a bit of a debrief and some honest conversations,” Finnan-White said.
“It’s talking to them about being accountable for their actions and commitment to the team.
“It’s what you do when no one’s watching, that makes the difference”
Players were asked to write down personal values and what they want out of the program. Commitment, respect and loyalty stood out as common amongst the group.
Like any great underdog story, the team hopes buying in to a shared ethos might spur a shift in fortune.
To the coaches surprise the media attention and increase in crowds have had a greater effect than anticipated.
“Within our culture that we don’t like performing in front of people,” Finnan-White said.
“It took took a while for me to kind of realise that.
“I said to the you girls got so much more to give, we need to try to work out how to get you performing at your best without worrying about things like people looking at you or feeling like people are judging you, you have to come out of your shell and comfort zone and just give it everything you’ve got.”
Overall the program has been met with positivity and excitement from administrators and oppositions which has encouraged all involved.
The hope is to get their first win in an upcoming match to really get their season going.