Ashlee Smith - My Redan Story
What are some of your earliest memories of playing netball?
My earliest memory is playing Netball is at Brown Hill Netball Club at Llanberis on a Saturday morning. Back when the uniform was Red collared shirts and a black pleated skirt.
Who or what was it that saw you come to play with Redan?
One of my great netball friends, Abby Simpson encouraged me to come try out for the u/19s side at the Redan Senior Netball Club.
What were some of the highlights of your junior career?
Winning the BJFNL Most Valuable Player whilst playing at Mount Clear Junior FNC.
Describe yourself as a netballer.
I would describe myself as a very versatile player. Most coaches don’t know what to do with me. Constantly switching from the defensive end to the attacking end, and more recently the midcourt. I never give up, I persevere all the way through until the job is done.
What do you remember of your first A Grade game?
My first A Grade game we came up against North. I was 16, placed into a goaling position and can remember being pushed around by the defenders.
Who have been some of the best players you have played alongside and who has been your toughest opponent?
Emma Henry and Jordan Lever - despite only ever having to come up against them in training they were one unbeatable defensive duo. They had great communication and were intimidating on court.
Sasha McDonald - She had a reputation for being the best netball player in my year level in Ballarat. She played at state level and was a star GA. We came up against each other for the first time at school netball. Most of the time she competed in a higher level competition rather than age group competitions because she was that good. 3. 1 Tuesday, 10 August 2021
What are some of your most memorable wins during your time at Redan?
2016 u19 Premiership, this one in particular because it was my first ever premiership win; and 2017 u/19 Premiership
Have you played your best netball as a Goal Keeper or Shooter?
I’m not sure I alternate each year or throughout the season.
Who are some of the coaches and players who have had the biggest impact upon your own career?
Talia Roden Holloway, my u19s coach for the 2016 and 2017 season really set the standard expected for training and playing. I still abide by her expected work ethic.
Did it take much convincing to get into coaching and what do you enjoy most about it?
A little bit, the girls in the 2021 u/19s side is made of girls who I’ve watched play in my younger sisters teams over the years. I’ve enjoyed seeing the girls improve their netball and want to be better and aren’t afraid to ask.
How is your knee rehab going and what are you looking forward to most when you are cleared to play again?
I’m now on track for recovery on my feet and walking. I am looking forward to running again.
What are some of the main goals you have for the rest of your netball career?
I intend to get back on Court in the VNL after a few years as a training partner. I would love to make it to State level.
How much of a challenge is outdoor netball to indoor and which do you prefer?
I definitely prefer an indoor netball court it is kinder on your knees, ankles etc. You can certainly control the training environment more.
We have seen many Redan Facebook netball photos of your vertical leap and you won a Grand Final sprint, can we expect to see you in a Redan football jumper at some stage?
Every time I’ve played footy in the past I have ended up with concussion, probably very unlikely anytime soon.
When we talk about the Spirit of Redan, what does that mean to you?
Everyone, all Football and Netball getting around each other and participating in everything possible.
What advice do you have for the junior netballers starting their careers at Redan?
Persevere, whether that be to see a season through to the end, or get through a training session, or to claim a position in the starting 7. Your hard work won’t go unnoticed