Injured Swifts out to salvage finals hopes

James Lemon
The NSW Swifts must look beyond the leadership group to salvage their season, Maddy Proud says

The onus is on the NSW Swifts playing group to pull out of an injury-induced hole and make a late charge to the Super Netball finals, centre Maddy Proud says.

The squad must look beyond the leadership group, of which she's a part, if they are to salvage something from the tough hand they have been dealt, She says.

"I think we've all got to look inside ourselves," Proud said.

"We sometimes go inside of ourselves ... so making sure we all stay connected. Everyone on the court has got to play their role."

With NSW coach Briony Akle prone to rotating her mid-court, there isn't always an official leader within earshot.

"Abbey McCulloch, our captain, is always a driving force (in lifting the side's energy) but our focus is really on having seven or even 10 leaders within our team," Proud said.

Mid-courter Clare O'Brien ruptured her achilles tendon on Tuesday and will miss the rest of the season, while doubts remain as to whether she'll recover in time for the 2019 campaign.

The Swifts made a pact to take their sorrow for O'Brien into Saturday's 58-65 loss to the Melbourne Vixens, with Akle saying that approach will be applied to the season's remainder.

"We've still got a lot to play for ... We're absolutely aiming for the finals," Proud said.

She said watching her teammate fall made the week before a 58-65 loss to Melbourne Vixens horrible.

"She's such a big part of our team, not only on the court but off the court as well. She's sort of irreplaceable in a lot of ways," she said.

O'Brien's absence was compounded by the loss of shooter Sophie Garbin for a week with a foot complaint and there are also concerns over how goal attack Helen Housby will pull up from the loss.