Read Play the Game Online

Authors: Nova Weetman

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Play the Game

BOOK: Play the Game
5.43Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub


Title Page

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Edie TAKES the role of JULIET in the school play

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Edie JOINS the state netboll team

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Edie tries to REJOIN the state netboll team

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Edie ACCEPTS the role of nurse

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Edie GOES to the DANCE with Finn

Chapter Six

Edie GOES to the EXTRA training session

Chapter Six

Edie STICKS to playing the nurse

Chapter Eight

Edie TAKES the lead role of Juliet

Chapter Eight

Edie STAYS in the state netball team

Chapter Seven

Edie QUITS the state netball team

Chapter Seven

Edie Plays HARD like her coach told her to

Chapter Seven

Edie REFUSES to target her opponent

Chapter Seven

Copyright Page

‘Tess, you’re breaking my fingers!’ I yelped, half laughing as I wrestled my bestie’s
hand off mine.

‘Sorry,’ Tess said. ‘I’m just so nervous. Aren’t you?’

I hadn’t been, but as we walked up the steps into the State Netball Centre, I began
to feel a little bit edgy. I’d been here before, but only to watch, never to play.
Suddenly all the big glass cabinets filled with trophies seemed intimidating, instead
of inspiring. Everywhere I turned, I saw posters of the national netball team. Tess
and I had spent hours discussing our favourite players. And now we were here. Where
those players trained. Yep, the nerves were starting to kick in.

‘Um, maybe just a bit …’ I said, pulling a silly face, which made Tess smile.

‘I wasn’t expecting this many people,’ she said, looking around at the crowd. ‘I think
I imagined just a small try-out, like the ones we have for the Sapphires.’

The Sapphires were
team. Tess and I had started playing with them when we were
seven. Whenever we needed to recruit a new player, we’d have a brief practice session,
just to make sure they’d fit in.

was anything but small. There was a queue of girls waiting to get their name
marked off. Now it was my turn to grab Tess’s hand.

‘What if we get split up, Edie?’ whispered Tess.

‘They wouldn’t separate us, would they?’ I asked, horrified at the thought. Tess and
I always played netball together.

The girl in front of us spun around and said knowingly, ‘They usually pair you up
with someone from your local team.’

Tess looked worried. ‘I hope I’m with you, Edie.’

‘Me too,’ I said. Trying not to think about the idea of being separated from Tess,
I quickly changed the subject.

‘Have you tried out before?’ I asked the girl.

She sighed. ‘Only like three times.’

Three times.
I didn’t want to have to try out three times. It was like the girl was
reading my mind.

She laughed and said, ‘If I don’t get picked today, that’s it – I’m taking up basketball

The girl stepped forward to have her name marked off.

Tess glanced around the room, then nudged me. ‘Isn’t that Tegan Caldwell?’ she whispered.

I looked over to where Tess was pointing and saw the Vixens’ star shooter. She looked
even taller off the court than on. Seeing her made me feel even more nervous. Watching
the Vixens play so often was what had led us to state tryouts.

‘She’s amazing,’ said Tess, still staring at her.

‘So are you! In fact, you’re just like her. You hardly ever miss a goal. And you train
harder than anyone I know.’ I gave my bestie a hug.

We’d had this conversation many times, but no matter what I said, I knew Tess doubted

‘Name?’ said the woman behind the desk. Tess had to nudge me before I realised she
was talking to me.

‘Oh, um, Edie Thomas,’ I croaked.

‘Court four,’ she said, ruling a line through my name. ‘Downstairs.’

I hovered near Tess, waiting to hear what court she’d be playing on. My fingers were
crossed hard that we’d be together. When I heard the woman say court four, I grinned,

‘Yay!’ said Tess with a big smile, looking more like the usual Tess than she had
all morning.

We wove through the crowd, heading for court four. There were girls stretching and
warming up everywhere we looked. I stood there, wondering what to do. A woman came
towards us with a clipboard and a big, friendly smile, and I relaxed slightly.

‘I’m Marilyn. I’m coordinating the under-15s.’

‘Oh, hi. I’m Edie and this is Tess,’ I said.

The woman scanned her lists. ‘Great. Tess, you’ll be playing Goal Shooter,’ she said.
‘And you’ll be Goal Attack,’ she told me.

Tess and I grinned at each other. She looked as relieved as I felt. We’d be playing
our usual positions. That would make it so much easier to show what we could do.

‘We’re starting in ten, so you’d better get warmed up,’ said Marilyn as she finished
with us and went to greet the next bunch of girls who’d arrived.

Tess and I dumped our bags on the side of the court and started running a warm-up
lap. I looked around at the other players. We were all here for the same thing, but
only a few of us would be lucky enough to make the team. I just hoped that Tess and
I would both be chosen.

We finished warming up and joined our team. They were putting on their bibs and unzipping
their tracksuits, getting ready to play.

‘Wow, Edie, they’re so tall!’ Tess whispered. She wasn’t kidding. I’d always thought
Tess and I were pretty tall, but these girls made me feel tiny.

‘I’m just glad they’re on
team,’ I said. ‘I wouldn’t want to be playing against

They were huddled together when Tess and I walked up – they obviously knew each other.
As Tess grabbed our bibs, the girls broke apart. Tess smiled and introduced us both.
I was glad she was taking control. My stomach was overrun with butterflies, and I
didn’t quite trust myself to speak.

The girl playing Centre smiled. ‘I’m Tilly. This is Teisha, Ruby and Lily,’ she said,
waving her hand at the other girls. Before I could memorise their names, a girl wearing
a Wing Attack bib joined us.

‘Tess! I was hoping you’d be here,’ she said, hugging Tess hard.

I watched them, biting my lip. I had no idea who she was, but Tess obviously knew

Tess grabbed my arm and pulled me closer. ‘Edie, this is Maggie. Remember, I told
you about her?’

Maggie. The girl Tess had met last year at netball camp. Mum had picked that week
for a rare family holiday, so I hadn’t been able to go. Tess hadn’t stopped talking
about it for weeks afterward. I was glad she’d had a great time, but it had been
hard hearing about Maggie and the fun they’d had together.

I shook off the thought and smiled. ‘Hi, Maggie. I’m Edie.’

‘I know. Tess talked about you nonstop,’ she said with a warm smile.

Maggie seemed really friendly, and I could see why Tess liked her. But before we could
talk any more, I realised the other team was taking their positions on the court.

‘This is it,’ said Tess, giving my hand a squeeze.

I sussed out the girl I was playing against. ‘Argh, check out the Goal Defence,’
I whispered. If the other girls were tall, then she was a giant!

Tess shrugged. ‘One word –
,’ she said, grinning as she headed for the goal

Lining up against the GD I smiled to myself. We’d played against the Serpents in
our grand final last year. Their GD was just about the tallest person I’d ever seen.
I couldn’t get the ball past her. We were getting thrashed until I realised she always
looked over her left shoulder. So I’d started playing in her blind spot – and shot
19 goals.

Within seconds of the whistle blowing, I forgot my nerves. Tess and I pulled out all
our special plays. We ran. We dodged. We bounce-passed into the goal circle. Tess had
already shot six goals by the end of the first quarter. But our teams were pretty
evenly matched, and at halftime it was equal, ten-all.

Normally at half-time we’d be huddled together with the rest of the Sapphires, listening
to our coach, but today everyone was out for themselves. I was just glad I had Tess
with me. I walked towards her, trying to catch my breath.

‘That court is so fast,’ said Tess, still puffing.

I couldn’t speak yet. I was too busy drinking all Tess’s water – I’d forgotten to
fill up my drink bottle.

‘Nice work, you two,’ said Maggie joining us. ‘Tess was right about you, Edie. You’re
a total natural!’

‘Thanks,’ I said quietly. I was pleased that Tess had told Maggie so much about me,
but I didn’t love it when Tess called me a natural. It made me feel like she didn’t
think I had to try. Okay, sure, she practiced harder than I did – but that didn’t
mean I wasn’t working hard. She was just a bit more hardcore than me!

‘Have you guys spotted the selectors?’ asked Tess, looking around.

‘Don’t think about them. Just play your game. You’re doing really well,’ said Maggie.

I stared down at the line of the court under my feet. Normally I’d be the one trying
to reassure Tess. And while Maggie seemed super nice, I just wanted a few minutes
alone with Tess to talk through the game. This was what we always did at half-time.
We revved each other up. But now Maggie was doing it instead of me.

Then I thought about how hard we’d worked to get here – all the times we’d practiced
together – and realised how silly I was being. We were at the most important tryouts
of our lives!

I looked up and caught Tess’s eye. ‘Maggie’s right. You don’t have time to think
today. Just focus on winning!’

Tess grinned at me. ‘Killer Edie. I like it. I saw you elbowing your player out there.’

‘Who, me? Never.’

‘You know, if we do get in, we’ll be training here. Right next to the Vixens!’ said

‘Don’t get too far ahead of yourself,’ I said.

Tess rolled her eyes at me. ‘Edie always drags me back to earth!’

Huh. I’d always thought Tess liked that about me. I shrugged it off.

‘Come on then, let’s go and get selected!’ I said, pulling Tess back onto the court.

‘Yeah!’ said Tess, storming towards our goal.

The players other team had switched their positions around. As I clocked the size
of their new GD, my resolve faltered. Tess was staring at her too, and if I hadn’t
been so completely terrified, I would have laughed at the horrified look Tess shot
me. This girl was beyond giant.

BOOK: Play the Game
5.43Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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