Featured Players, Donnell Wallam, Ruby Bakewell-Doran, Maddy Proud, Sasha Glasgow, Latanya Wilson, Cath Cox

It’s been a big Super Netball season in 2022, with many players branding themselves as stars for the future.

There are only four rounds left

Whether it’s a rising young star or someone enjoying the best form of their career, Catherine Cox takes a look at five players having a standout season in 2022.

DONELL WALLAM

Donnell Wallam receives the ball over Geva Mentor from Collingwood. Photo: Simon SturzakerSource: Getty Images

Donnell had huge shoes to fill in 2022. We all thought the Firebirds would have a rough year without star shooter Romelda Aiken-George, who announced she was pregnant in preseason.

But Donnell filled the gap beautifully. She’s still raw, but what she’s managed to do so far is simply remarkable. She’s pretty similar to Romelda in the way she plays, so that probably helped Gretel Bueta and midcourt adjust.

I love that she’s taking Super Shots and sinking them, she’s quite mobile and athletic considering it’s her first year at the top. Donnell is also facing the pressure of being only the second Indian player in the league, behind teammate Jemma Mi Mi.

Wallam is fourth among the SSN’s leading scorers in her rookie season and the highest ranked Aussie, averaging over 37 goals and two Super Shots per game.

RUBY BAKEWELL-DORAN

Ruby Bakewell-Doran takes the lead. Photo: Daniel PocketSource: Getty Images

Ruby Bakewell-Doran is not new to the Firebirds setup, having been part of the squad as a training partner for years before making her SSN debut in 2021.

But she really took her opportunity in 2022 after Tara Hinchliffe and Rudi Ellis opted to sign with rival clubs. Not only did she manage to have a few good games early on to prove she did it, she did it consistently to cement a starting role for the Firebirds.

I love how good her anticipation is, she’s really headstrong, has great footwork, reads the ball really well.

A lot of the ball she gets, she has to fight and fight and I really love that part of her game. Her ability to bond with her defensive teammates is impressive, as this level of understanding usually takes a lot of time.

Bakewell-Doran ranks fifth in the competition for interceptions, averages nearly four wins per game, and is one of the least penalized defenders.

VERY PROUD

Maddy Proud is thriving in 2022. Photo: Jason McCawleySource: Getty Images

Maddy Proud’s numbers are just as big in 2022. Since a quiet fourth-round performance, she’s been averaging 51 feeds per game – which is a career record for the Swifts midfielder. Given that NSW is also feeding Paige Hadley, Proud’s number is really impressive.

Where the remarkable average is a result of Helen Housby’s increased time as top scorer in the absence of the injured Sam Wallace, Proud’s numbers are still insane in 2022.

She took her game to another level. Everyone’s priority when playing the Swifts is to stop Proud, like teams with Melbourne Vixens captain Liz Watson, but no one has been able to do that.

She throws herself into everything, she’s having an absolute season.

Proud remains first in the competition for goal assists with 263 so far.

SASHA GLASGOW

Sasha Glasgow kicks against Melbourne. Photo: James WorsfoldSource: Getty Images

Goal attack point has been West Coast Fever’s biggest issue with many players trying to get the role right, but I feel Sasha Glasgow was the best fit in 2022.

Glasgow is not new to the club but they seem to have a different attitude and more confidence this season.

She’s not necessarily trying to get around star-shooter Jhaniele Fowler, essentially playing as another wing attack. Instead, Glasgow is happy to get in there, just dominate the circle, demand the ball and kick.

She’s been great since the Super Shot range, and if she continues like that, Fever is in a better position to win a top division. Glasglow lost round 6 under Covid protocols and was eased on their return in round 7, playing just 30 minutes.

But she is still third in the Super Shots leaderboard, behind only England internationals Helen Housby and Jo Harten.

LATANIA WILSON

Latanya Wilson (right) comes close to Helen Housby. photo: Matt KingSource: Getty Images

Latanya Wilson has been so impressive these past few weeks, she’s bested her Thunderbirds teammate Shamera Sterling – and that’s no mean feat. Particularly with Matilda Garrett out, Wilson was given the opportunity to get back into goal defense instead of playing on the wing.

Along with his Jamaican teammate Sterling, the duo is very supportive.

Wilson is pretty headstrong, scrappy, great on air – her anticipation is incredible.

She is really unreal to watch and is just a real athlete. Over the past few weeks, Wilson has excelled as the ball-pulling defender ahead of Sterling, so you know you’re having a pretty good year.

Wilson only played the full 60 minutes in rounds 9 and 10, where he averaged 8.5 deflections, 6.5 gains, 3.5 interceptions and 2.5 receptions.

She is fourth in the competition in interceptions and deflections despite her limited playing time at the start of the season.

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