City West Falcons goal shooter Kath Knott is the reigning Victorian Netball League championship division most valuable player, but her desire to improve has never been stronger.
Knott remains the top finisher in the competition and the focal point of the Falcons’ attack, but she insists she can get even more out of herself at the age of 28.
“I still learn something new every time I take the court,” Knott said.
“Although I won the league MVP last year, I told [coach] Marg [Lind] that I want to develop again as a player, I want to learn something new and she was like, ‘alright, let’s do this and this’.”
City West is the envy of the competition because of its ability to keep up with the Joneses.
Ever since the VNL’s inception, the Falcons have been a force and are there when the whips are cracking at the pointy end of the season.
In Knott’s six years with the Falcons, the club has managed to overcome setbacks like injuries and representative call-ups.
They have also rebuilt on the fly, tapping into their rich talent pool of youngsters.
Knott believes the Falcons stay at the top because of the ability of the coaching staff to engage with their players and keep them stimulated at training.
“There’s that two-way communication between coaches and the players,” Knott said.
“They always make it exciting; they always make it challenging. It’s different every week.”
There is a whole heap of question marks hanging over City West again this season.
Can they overcome the mental scars of two heartbreaking grand final losses in two years?
Do they have the depth to cover a defensive end decimated by departures?
Knott is backing the Falcons to deliver once again and remain in the premiership hunt in a transition year.
“I guess the club has been so strong over the years because of the depth of juniors coming through,” Knott said. “It’s such an elite environment that players do develop quickly.
“I guess it’s a new challenge for us. It’s something I’m excited about because I like new challenges. I’m looking forward to it.”
Knott has reached the top of the sport, playing ANZ Championship with Melbourne Vixens and Australian Netball League with Victorian Fury.
While she remains sharp on the court, Knott does not expect to reach the heights of the trans-Tasman league again, believing selectors have more than likely moved on.
“I’d love to but I’m getting older and the coaches at the next level are looking at younger players coming through so they can develop them and have the next Sharelle McMahon or Sharni Layton,” she said.
Knott will get the chance to play alongside her younger sister, Julia Woolley, in the attacking circle this season.
Woolley missed the opening round loss to Boroondara through concussion but should be back for the round 2 battle with ACU Sovereigns.
The pair will pose more than a few headaches for oppositions this season.
“I think she brings out the best in me and I hope I can bring out the best in her,” Knott said.
“We’ve been playing in the same team since we were seven and nine years, so we’ve got a connection that’s been built across those years.
“There are sneaky look-away passes every now and then. I know when she’s going to pass it but the defenders don’t and I’m like ‘how do you not know that!’ ”