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Swifts rookie used to grand final success

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 30/07/2016 Adrian Warren

She's the rookie in the star-studded NSW Swifts side for the trans-Tasman netball grand final, but emerging defender Maddy Turner knows more than most about winning big games.

South Australian Turner has started every game for the Swifts since joining the team this season.

She has slotted in seamlessly alongside Diamonds' star Sharni Layton and proved a good replacement for retired international Julie Corletto.

Winning grand finals has become a healthy habit for 20-year-old Turner.

She has been part of the winning team in the last four 21 and under national championships, where she was named tournament MVP for the last two years.

"I played in South Australia and we got three (titles) in a row for the under 21s at nationals and then with NSW we won this year," Turner said.

Turner and Layton will both be conceding 9cm in height to Firebirds shooters Gretel Tippett and Romelda Aiken.

Asked how Layton and herself could counter that, Turner quipped: "Jump?"

There have been matches this year when Turner was the only non-international in the Swifts starting seven, but she hasn't been intimidated by playing alongside so many established stars.

"From the start it was a pretty welcoming environment, I've just got so many players that I can learn off." Turner said.

The big selection decision looming for Swifts coach Rob Wright is whether to change his midcourt.

In last Monday's semi-final he opted to start Abbey McCulloch at wing defence and moved New Zealander Laura Langman to centre and left Diamonds midcourter Paige Hadley out of the starting seven.

If Hadley returns to the run on side she will face her former NSW age group and Australian World Youth Cup teammates, Kimberley Ravaillion and Gabi Simpson.

"Rav and me and Gabi grew up playing together, so it's good always to come up against them and see what you can do, it's always a really good tussle against each other," Hadley told AAP.

"Hopefully on Sunday the combination that gets out there in the midcourt can really get on top of them and put pressure on them.

"I think if we can stay there right to the end, we've got a really good chance to mow them down with our fitness and our skills."

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