It was a debut to remember for Melbourne Vixen number 60 Sharni Lambden, who took the court for the first time in wing defence against Collingwood Magpies on Sunday in the Victorian Derby.
“I’m on cloud nine if I’m honest! Have not stopped smiling all day, it was the best day ever,” Lambden recounted.
Elevated into the main squad for the Round 7 clash in the absence of Kate Eddy and Hannah Mundy, Lambden sat patiently on the sidelines waiting for her call-up. But the moment she couldn’t comprehend was when head coach Simone McKinnis approached her to get on court.
“When she came across and told me I was just sitting there like ‘okay, yep, sure, no worries’ trying to talk myself up. But then I was alright and was like ‘go out there and play netball, do my job’.
“Simone told me some things to do, and I just took them on board and tried my best. I’m just happy that I was a part of it to be honest, to get on court and debut for the Melbourne Vixens was literally a dream come true,” she said.
Previously a training partner with Collingwood and playing in the Victorian Netball League with Casey Demons, Lambden’s SSN debut was a fairytale moment for the athletic and versatile 24-year-old.
“From a young age I always wanted to play for the Vixens one day. To actually be a part of the squad and be a part of this club is amazing because I have dreamt of this moment since I was younger,” she said.
“I loved every minute of being here. Everyone is so supportive and so welcoming, I feel so comfortable and just feel like I’m at home.”
Although the Vixens didn’t get the win on Sunday there were plenty of positives for the dynamic midcourter, starting with a nice intercept in her first five minutes on court after being injected into the game after half-time.
“I was literally like ‘there’s the ball, that’s the ball right there’. Then I just thought ‘run my feet and just get the ball’.”
Playing in front of a full house was another moment that Lambden will never forget, noting the overwhelming roar from the crowd when she reeled in that intercept.
“It was awesome. I heard the crowd and I couldn’t believe any of it. To just step out on court was a massive honour and I’m super grateful to have all of my family and everyone there. It was just awesome,” she said.
Lambden highlighted how important the support of her family and friends has been throughout her netball journey.
“It did mean a lot to me to have my whole family and friends there, because they’ve been through the whole journey.
“It was a very special moment for them to witness me stepping out on that court and playing the sport that I love. They’ve seen me go through my ups and downs and to finally debut, it was just the best day,” she said.
Lambden certainly made an impression, her performance earning her the Fan MVP voted by Vixens supporters, thanks to Origin.
The Vixens will be back at John Cain Arena this Saturday 7 May to face the Queensland Firebirds in Round 8 – join us and wear a touch of pink to help us celebrate PLAY4BCNA round.