Corowa-Rutherglen youngster Zoe McLeish is the latest nominee for the Ovens and Murray’s Rising Star award. McLeish has enjoyed a fine season and looks set to play a big role in their push for the finals. She caught up with The Border Mail’s Beck O’Connell this week to talk all about her year so far.
BO: You’ve just been named the second Rising Star nominee for the season, how does that feel?
ZM: It was a bit of a surprise, but I’m very honoured to be nominated and keep working towards improving as a player.
BO: There is two nominees that have been named so far, (Yarrawonga’s) Indi Frauenfelder was the first, who do you think are some candidates to take out the other three nominations?
ZM: I really have no idea. There’s obviously a lot of young talent in the league this year and I’m hopeless with names from other clubs. From Corowa, Ella Kingston and obviously Emily Laracy, who won it last year. Just playing with them, I know they’d be awesome candidates, but I’m not really sure about the other clubs.
BO: You played in the under 17s rep side for the Ovens and Murray and also played in the under 15s, was there a big difference between the two?
ZM: With the under 15s I played in the second team, so we didn’t actually play in the interleague. I guess with both teams I played with similar girls and it was just great getting to know them all and seeing the different talent from all the different clubs.
BO: You’ve played the last two seasons with the under 16s for Corowa-Rutherglen and shot straight into the A-grade side, was that a little bit of a shock?
ZM: It was a little bit, but I think I’ve adjusted quite well and the support from the team has been phenomenal. It’s been a bit of an adjustment, but I think it’s a good one and it’s helped me grow as a player.
BO: You’re sitting equal fourth in the Hot Shots at 77 per cent, is there anything you do in particular outside of training to have such amazing accuracy?
ZM: I just keep practicing at training and outside of training and I guess that’s it really. I have a netball ring out the front of the house.
BO: The girls tell me you’re pretty laid-back and you’ve been referred to as a ‘zen’ player, is that one of your characteristics? How do you see yourself?
ZM: I guess so, I go into each game with a calm head and maintain that kind of composure and take it as it comes.
BO: I saw you guys when you played Lavington a few weeks ago and you had a bit of a tussle with Rhiannon Dolahenty, so I thought that was a pretty good match-up. You’re surprisingly tall. Who would be your toughest individual opponent so far this season?
ZM: Obviously Lavi are really strong, but I don’t really know.
BO: You guys have got one of the biggest games of the season coming up against Albury with both teams fighting for a spot in the top-five. What are some of the things you are focusing on heading into this game?
ZM: I think just working on our game plan and keeping calm heads as we go into the game, playing out each quarter and playing out a full game. We’re working towards maintaining possession and obviously trying to get that win.
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