Shepparton United captain Kirsty Hommes is dedicating more time to the sport than she ever has.
The defender notches up her 250th Goulburn Valley League game tomorrow, but only chooses to increase the hours spent on the track.
‘‘I do more training now than I’ve ever done just to keep fitness,’’ Hommes said.
‘‘I’ll get to trainings now half an hour before the rest of the girls and run laps just to keep fitness levels up.’’
It is a major statement considering the hours she used to put in as a youngster when travelling to Melbourne weekly as part of Goulburn Valley’s state league side.
Forming a part of the team that included Shepparton Swans’ playing coach Jana Bruinier as well as former United star Ashton O’Brien, Hommes realised the perks of playing while in her teens.
‘‘Looking back at it, you sort of think back then you’d do things a whole lot differently, train a little bit harder, you’d go a little bit more and put that bit extra in; looking back now, you took your fitness for granted,’’ she said.
Playing in the division two state league side was the reason Hommes moved across from playing in the Waaia seniors to the GVL.
‘‘Adam Sloan was coaching at the time and he basically just said that I couldn’t play state league and Picola League, he said there was too big a difference and at the time I didn’t really know the difference but he said I had to go to a GV club,’’ Hommes said.
Moving from the Bombers she chose to pull on the Shepparton colours for three years before switching across to rival club Shepparton United.
That proved a worthwhile move when her transfer resulted in back-to-back premierships in 2009 and 2010, after starting at the club in 2007.
The bubbly personality took over from Kate Durling as captain of the club last year, after the supreme shooter stepped down from the role.
With Hommes and Durling the two oldest players in the A-grade side, the captain enjoys watching the talented teenagers rising through the divisions.
‘‘They look 17 or 18, they play like a mature adult and yet they’re still only 14. I swear at that age I didn’t have as much talent as they do,’’ Hommes said.
‘‘The future of netball is pretty exciting to see where they’re going to go.’’
Hommes is sure to cherish her 250th match which falls on Ladies’ Day against Seymour tomorrow, treasuring however long the 31-year-old has left playing in the top tier.
‘‘It’s hard because you start to get a bit older, your games become less and less, you don’t know how many seasons you have left in the body,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s a bit daunting, like, ‘well, am I going to make it to 300?’ — 250 could be it.’’
But her enthusiasm about the year ahead shows how buoyed she is to keep going the extra yards, with the Demons unbeaten to begin the season.
‘‘We’ve won exactly the same amount of games we won last year, it’s a brilliant feeling,’’ she said. ‘‘I know our draw has potentially been an advantage for us but it’s just a nice feeling.’’