300 games up, but sights still set on elusive flag

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WILLASTON veteran Michelle Modra surpassed the 300-game milestone earlier this year at the remarkable age of 53 and now has her sights on the next big goal – winning a Barossa, Light & Gawler Netball Association premiership.
Modra, a Willaston life member, has been with the club since it first formed in 1987, and during her time there has spent a year as club president, played and coached across a variety of grades and been a committee member.
Despite playing over 300 games for Willaston, she also competed in the Gawler & District Netball Association for three years, winning a premiership with Gumnuts and also an association best and fairest.
She also took time away from the BL&GNA by spending five years in Darwin.
Currently, Modra is a player and coach for the Donnybrooks’ senior seven team, and is still in the hunt for that elusive premiership medallion.
She said she would be happy to hang up the her runners if the team was to win the flag this year.
“You imagine it, I’ve played 300 games or more and I’ve never won a flag with the club; that’s my goal, to retire (by winning a premiership),” she said.
Modra was at the club when they won the senior one premiership in 1995, and still gets teary describing what has been her biggest career highlight, despite not playing or coaching in the match.
“We’d never won a premiership for div one at all and all those girls (who played in the win) came up and said ‘this is why we did it, for you and Lynette (Clarke)’,” she said.
Clarke played a number of games alongside Modra, and is also a 300-game player for Willaston.
Modra has also umpired many games over her career, and will continue doing so after she retires, as a way of ‘giving back to the game’.
“I can retire from netball and still have that involvement with the game,” she said.
“Most of those girls that I umpire now in the intermediate ones I’ve coached in moddies; so the girls that are coming up in the ranks that I’m umpiring now, you get to see them develop (as players).”
Willaston Netball Club president Katrina Frederick said Modra was very involved at the club.
“The lady’s got more knowledge about what’s happening around the club than most of us,” she said.
“She also works in the kitchen at the football, so she does both the netball and football side, so she’s a pretty busy lady.”
With her team currently positioned inside the top four, Modra is confident the girls can give finals a good shake and bring home the flag.
Asked if she will go around for another year if unsuccessful in her premiership endeavour, Modra was unequivocal; “yeah, I will,” she said.

Grady Hudd

@Grady_Hudd

Growing up in Bordertown in the South East, Grady Hudd moved to Adelaide and completed a Bachelor in Journalism before starting his first industry job at the Kaniva Times and Nhill Free Press in Western Victoria at the end of 2012. He moved to Gawler in May 2014 to start work at the Bunyip. Grady has keen interests in footy and cricket, as well as a passion for music and guitar.

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