North Albury captain Kirby Hilton has proven age is no barrier as she continues to star at A-grade level. She spoke with The Border Mail’s Beck O’Connell about her season thus far.
BO: You’re up against Albury this week, they got you by seven goals last time you played each other. What’s the focus going into this weekend?
KH: We’ve changed our team around, now we only have the seven and use B-grade as our bench, so we’ve found it really hard to try and get the combinations. Now we think we've got a combination and our focus will be trying to keep our head in the game. We were seven goals up against Albury last time and within a flash we were down by seven. Once we get down, we can’t get ourselves back into it.
BO: You’re equal third, but fourth on the ladder, how much do you think the ladder will change in the last couple of games?
KH: We play a lot of the top teams, so we have to take it each game at a time and try to get ourselves over the line. Hopefully other teams in the top-five are playing each other as well so some of them get the points.
BO: Grace Senior has passed 400 goals this season, does she spend entire sessions putting shots up?
KH: She gets there early and shoots at quarter-time and things like that of B-grade, but I don’t know how much she does outside of our training days. She’s a natural shooter who can shoot from anywhere and she demands the ball, so you’re willing to give it to her.
BO: You were at the White Ribbon launch for the Ovens and Murray during the week, tell me a bit about that.
KH: It’s a great initiative. Sporting clubs are a great platform to launch something like that or make people aware of it because it’s certainly full of a lot of women and football players’ partners as well. Just getting that message out there is a great initiative and certainly sporting clubs are big on it too. Just having men being able to stand up to other men and tell them it’s not okay.
BO: You are proving at the moment that age is no barrier in A-grade Ovens and Murray, how are you feeling about your season this year and how has it been with all those young girls in your team?
KH: It’s definitely hard playing with younger ones. It’s great playing with them too, but it’s just trying to keep their head in the game as well. You’re sort of playing that ‘mum’ role and being centre court you’ve got both ends of the court you’re trying to settle when times get a bit hard. It’s very hard to get young heads in the game, and, at that age, they’re a bit selfish and it’s all about them. It’s about trying to get the team spirit together as well.
BO: Being the captain, one of the oldest in the team and having that leadership role, but also trying to play your own game. How do you find the balance?
KH: I suppose you pick your moments to say something to the girls because you don’t want to be yelling at them on the court or anything like that. I try not to yell at them, I sort of say let’s settle it. It makes it a bit hard, but you’ve got to pick the right moments.
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