Liona Edwards ‘at home’ in the kennel

Liona Edwards
Liona Edwards

LIONA Edwards played in the very first season of Ovens and Murray netball but that was in another millennium.

Since that time she defected to basketball and the Tallangatta league but today at her “home” court against Albury the dynamic mid-courter will play game No. 250 in the competition.

Edwards said yesterday it felt like a lot more.

There is a question mark over the record keeping in that first season in 1993 and perhaps the second.

“But I asked the girls at training this week whether that means I’ve done 500 training sessions because it feels like a lot more of those as well,” she said.

The triple premiership player — once for Lavington, twice for the Dogs — started her career with Wodonga Raiders in the inaugural Ovens and Murray season.

“I took some time off to play basketball and then some girls I work with dragged me back for Lavington in 1997 and 1998,” Edwards said.

“But Bec Cameron gave me hell, said she couldn’t believe I wasn’t playing for Wodonga.

“To be fair it feels like home.

“I liked basketball as well but there is nothing like the club feeling of a football and netball club.

“The Bulldogs are my home team — they mean a lot to me and my daughter.”

Edwards’ most serious injury was again after she had left the kennel.

A two-year stint in the Tallangatta league resulted in a premiership and the need for a full knee reconstruction.

When Edwards returned to the Dogs in 2010 she was awaiting surgery.

Attempts to strap the knee into place proved pointless and she abandoned the year mid-season.

Edwards rates Kaitlyn Bourke (now Cummins) from Yarrawonga as her toughest opponent, Wodonga’s Bec Cameron the best player.

“Bec has to be one of the best,” she said.

“I can just about throw the ball anywhere and she gets it — she makes me look good.”

Edwards also rates the free-to-air coverage of elite netball as a reasons for the sport’s resurgence.

“I think that is partly why basketball lost the kids, the fact that the netball is on television makes young girls want to play,” she said.

“But it is also so fast, quick, tough — it dispels myths about women’s sport and is a real spectacle.”