Netballer returns to Firebirds
CLARE McMeniman is proud to say she grew up in Warwick as she returns to the Queensland Firebirds squad for the 2014 ANZ Championships season.
McMeniman won a premiership with the Firebirds in 2011 and took two seasons off before returning to Firebirds training before Christmas. She hasn't played a game for more than two years which she believes could be a good thing.
"It might take me a bit of time but I believe I will come back strongly with a new perspective on the game," McMeniman said.
She first played netball in Warwick juniors at Barnes Park and recalled being taken by her parents Geoff and Anne-Maree McMeniman to Saturday games in the 1990s.
McMeniman played in years 6-7 at Warwick West State School where she made Warwick district, Darling Downs and then a state primary school side.
At the time she was at goal attack.
"I was an atrocious shooter, that is why I moved to the defensive end of the court," she said.
"I am proud I grew up in Warwick."
Her netball developed in secondary school at John Paul College in Brisbane before she played for Queensland and Australia at underage level.
McMeniman and Allora player Laura Geitz were in the same Australian team which won bronze in the World Youth Cup in Florida in 2005 and at times they have been the two Firebirds defenders, Geitz at goal keeper and McMeniman at goal defence.
In recent years, McMeniman has played more wing defence than goal defence but expects she will be considered for Firebirds selection this year in either position.
She admits to missing the girls at the Firebirds during her seasons off and is eyeing off another premiership for the team from Queensland.
"It is great to be back playing, I will see how things go," she said.
Despite the loss of Diamonds pair Nat Medhurst and Chelsea Pitman, the Firebirds have a strong squad.
"There is a lot of depth and it will be extremely competitive for positions which will make all the girls play better."
McMeniman has been part of a national squad but isn't thinking about possible Diamonds squad selection at this time.
"I have to play consistently for the Firebirds, anyone offered a chance with the Diamonds would take it with two hands," she said.
Away from the netball court, McMeniman works as a speech pathology at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane.
She is not the only member of her family in big time sport. Her brother Hugh plays rugby union for Western Force in Perth.