Sam Wallace, the cool cat of the new Super Netball competition, is intent on disproving the unwanted underdog tag of her NSW Swifts team.
Trinidadian shooter Wallace made an instant impact in the first round of the new competition, nailing 34 of her 37 attempts.
Swifts, who lost six players to the three new clubs, were widely tipped to struggle, but suffered a tight five-goal defeat at the hands of intrastate rival Giants Netball.
“We are going to build together as a team and I love when people tend to think that we are the underdogs,” Wallace told AAP.
“We are going to prove them wrong, just like Saturday we proved them wrong.”
Asked for her reaction to being labelled a cool cat by Swifts coach Rob Wright, Wallace said: “I’m just me.
“My teammates feed off my energy so, if I’m quiet, they tend to be like ‘Sam, what’s wrong?’.
“And I’ll be like ‘nothing – I’m just in my zone.”
She quickly established a strong combination with England international Helen Housby.
“We are going to get better – it’s coming along,” Wallace said.
“She hasn’t been here due to the Quad Series; she’s been back home to play.
“We’ve just got to keep building that connection. It worked so smooth last Saturday.”
Although a newcomer to club competition in Australia, Wallace had already established world-class credentials.
She scored 280 goals at 86 per cent for Trinidad and Tobago at the 2015 World Cup.
She won the Sky Sports British Superleague player of the season award in 2016 after making 438 of her 491 shots – a success rate of 89 per cent.
Trinidad and Tobago are ranked ninth in the world, but the sport struggles for recognition.
This is despite the fact they are the only team outside Australia and New Zealand to have won a World Cup, back in 1979, when they finished equal first with those two nations.
“They don’t focus on netball,” Wallace said.
“We feel so unappreciated – they focus on track and field, cricket and football.”
Wallace’s deeds overseas inspire the youngsters back home who do take an interest in the game.
“All of them look up to me; all of them share my Facebook,” Wallace said.
“They are always texting ‘good luck, Sam’, ‘hard luck, Sam’.
“It’s a big honour to be the first Trinidadian to be playing in this league.”