Mattise Letherbarrow wants to ‘be the best I can be’

Mattise Letherbarrow. Photo: giantsnetball.com.au

Giants Netball’s Mattise Letherbarrow is a future star of the Suncorp Super Netball.

Letherbarrow, a young shooter, was a product of the New South Wales netball pathway, playing in the Australian Netball League (ANL) and serving time as a training partner for the Swifts before finding her way to the Giants.

As a kid in the pathway, Letherbarrow said she wanted to work her way towards one of the Super Netball’s NSW sides.

“So I went through state programs os the under 17s and the under 19s for New South Wales also went through ANL where I started playing in the ANL when I was 16 for the Waratahs,” Letherbarrow told The Inner Sanctum.

“Then I was lucky enough to get a Swifts training partnership where I was there for two years then I went to the Giants and was a training partner with them last year and this year.

“I got brought in as a replacement player but followed the New South Wales Pathway all the way up to where I am today.

“I’m really lucky to be at the Giants and the position I’m in. Julie [Fitzgerald] obviously looks to her home grown athletes so yeah I’m very lucky to be with Giants.”

Letherbarrow was named in the 12 person squad for the Giants in 2020 which was a massive learning experience for her.

As the sport came to grips with the COVID-19 Pandemic, Australia’s youngest stars were being allowed to emerge with bigger squads to combat a grueling schedule that allowed for just two to four days between each match.

“When Covid and everything hit it was so unknown if there was going to be an SSN competition. It was very unexpected and different but having so many games and to  be lucky enough to be apart of the competition was really good,” she said.

“To be around the girls all the time, learning things and having the chance to grow. Just to able to sit on the bench and watch not only my team play but all the other teams your obviously learning lots of things constantly.

“We were even lucky enough as younger girls to have practice matches put on and stuff for us, we were still able to play lots of netball as well.”

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In Round Four 2020, Letherbarrow made her Super Netball debut against the Firebirds where she was able to back herself in and grab the opportunity with both hands.

“I think you had no time to think, in situations like that you have to be ready and it’s trusting in your preparation and training you do. You’ve just got to go on and recognise your role and do it well,” she said.

“For me I didn’t really have any time to think, and I had to trust in my self to go on and recognise my role and I think replacing Jo [Harten] for that time it was focusing on filling her shoes and trying to doing as good as her.

“As much as it can be a bit scary in a way it was the best experience of my life and the best feeling to be on the court and that’s why you work so hard to get that feeling and opportunity.”

Throughout her time at the Giants to date, Letherbarrow has been able to learn under some of the best shooters in the world in Caitlin Basset and Jo Harten.

With Keira Austin out for the season, it leaves big shoes to fill in the Giants attack end but for Letherbarrow she’s focusing on being the best she can be and being there for her teammates if called upon.

“My main thing is being a good teammate and having a love for the game. For me my focus is on the success of the team, I want to grow and learn lots of things so I can also be pushing them to be the best players they can be as well as myself,” she said.

“I want to be adaptable and eager to learn as well as being able to implement anything the coach or the players tell me. Just trying to be the best I can be whilst pushing everyone else to be the best they can be for the success of the team.”

Mattise Letherbarrow (left) with teammate Tilly McDonell. Photo: giantsnetball.com.au

There is a winning vibe around the club this season with Giants remaining undefeated but they aren’t getting too carried away and looking at ways to better themselves to go deep into finals.

“The vibe is really good, every time we win we’re happy on that day and are like ‘that was a good game’ as soon as the next day comes we kind of put that behind us and look at what we can do the following week and how we can be stepping up and how we can be bringing it to the next team.”

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