Corowa-Rutherglen star Sophie Hanrahan is keeping options open

HAPPY AT HOME: Dual Toni Wilson Medallist Sophie Hanrahan said testing herself in the city isn't a priority at this stage. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE
HAPPY AT HOME: Dual Toni Wilson Medallist Sophie Hanrahan said testing herself in the city isn't a priority at this stage. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE

Sophie Hanrahan has not shut the door on a move to Melbourne - but insists her immediate future lies with the Ovens and Murray.

At 22, she's already a double Toni Wilson medalist and helped Corowa-Rutherglen to their first grand final last season.

Testing herself in the city isn't a priority for Hanrahan, but having seen one of her former teammates break into AFLW this season, she's not ruling it out either.

"I'm finishing uni this year so if I move away after this year or not, maybe, I don't really know," said Hanrahan.

"I'm not really a planner so whatever comes along, I'll do it.

"Cathy Svarc, who I used to play netball with at Corowa, has been drafted to Brisbane Lions and she's 28.

"She did that at that age so who cares? I might get to 30 and something happens. You always hear stories about that.

"I look at her and think 'that's amazing.' It makes me realise there's no pressure on doing everything while you're young.

"There's an idea that you hit 20 and if you're not playing in a VNL team, your career's over, but there are plenty of stories, whether it's football or netball, that (prove) you can still play higher level sport when you're older."

Roos' coach Georgie Bruce described Hanrahan as "a diamond in the rough" having previously played both with and against her.

"You only see players like her filter through the system once every 10 years," Bruce said.

"There's only one Sophie Hanrahan and we're not going to see another one for a long time. She's special.

"She doesn't think she's as good as she actually is but she could have gone a lot further in her netball if she desired.

"Sophie has not only the correct physique but the determination, intelligence and understanding of the game. She really is the full package."

Hanrahan entered the Wagga academy as a youngster but found the New South Wales netball pathway prohibitive.

"If you make the state team, you're expected to travel to Sydney every weekend and that's a seven-hour drive," she said.

"A couple of my friends made it but they said they just don't look outside Sydney.

"Liv Sinclair (Corowa-Rutherglen teammate) made it through the VIC pathway and she had great opportunities to play in the VNL down in Melbourne.

"My experience was really different to hers, so in hindsight, I wish I did make the move to Melbourne and give it a go.

"But I have no regrets. I'm happy playing Ovens and Murray.

"I like knowing who I'm playing against. Justine Willis, at Albury, is my physio and I think that's really nice. It's good to have those relationships.

"I'm friends with a lot of the Wang girls and it's nice to go out on a Saturday night and have a chat about the games.

"I definitely value that, whereas the stigma of not knowing who you're playing is what creates negative energy between clubs."

This story Netball star Sophie Hanrahan keeps her options open first appeared on The Border Mail.