100 games, more than 1,300 goals and an influence on court that surpasses all statistics, Steph Wood is deserving of celebration when she steps out in her milestone match on Tuesday.
The Sunshine Coast Lightning Vice Captain has a reputation of standing up in the clutch moments, supporting and coaching her team through games and driving her peers to be their best.
But when reflecting back on her first 99 National League Games, Wood stressed that it’s the journey and her progression as player and person that makes her most proud.
“I am living my dream,” Wood said.
“From a very young age I wanted to be a netballer and there was a moment there for a few years where that wasn’t actually happening.
“Everyone has a very different journey and I’m super proud of what I’ve been able to achieve – while I don’t play for milestones or awards, sometimes you do need to reflect on where I started to where I am now.
“I can’t wait to get out there Tuesday to hopefully get that win.”
Instead of reminiscing on tales of her own professional highlights, the humble shooter instead took time to thank the many people who have influenced her netball and career path.
“Thank you to everyone that has been a part of my journey – small or large – I couldn’t be where I am today without a lot of guidance and support from a lot of different people,” she said.
Lightning’s first ever player to sign on with the newly formed Suncorp Super Netball league will player her milestone match against GIANTS Netball tomorrow night at Nissan Arena.
Wood made clear that her focus remains on the task of hand, in regards to playing her best, helping her team and securing the win and subsequently a spot in the 2021 SSN finals.
“It’s cool to be living out my dream for what I always wanted – the 6 year old kid in the backyard pretending to play netball by yourself,” she said.
“But I don’t want to get overawed – it’s a very cool achievement but in the end I have to go out and do a job and we, as a team, have to do a job.
“While it’s amazing that it’s my 100th game, I don’t want it to be about me, it’s about us securing our spot in finals.”
In 99 games for NSW Swifts in the ANZ Championships and Lightning in the SSN, Wood has shot 1,322 goals, had 1,240 assists and 1,702 feeds.
She has also gone on to represent the Australian Diamonds across a number of international campaigns and was this year promoted to Vice Captain of Lightning’s 2021 lineup.