Sunbury’s Carla Odgers is primed for a big Bowls Victoria pennant season after a massive offseason that included her first individual Australian singles title.
Odgers, who returned to play with Sunbury last season after a couple of years away, was forced to fight hard in the Australian indoor final in August as the title went down to the wire.
“All my games in the first few rounds had gone to tie-breakers,” Odgers said last week. “The final could have gone either way.”
In the final, Odgers defeated Lynsey Clarke, who was eight months’ pregnant at the time, in yet another tie-breaker.
The win means she’ll represent Australia at the World Cup in April.
“It’s the first Australian singles title I’ve won,” Odgers said.
“I’ve been playing at this tournament since I was 17-18 and to have finally won, it’s great.
“It’s one step further than last year when I got knocked out in the semi-finals.”
In the offseason, Odgers was also part of the winning women’s four team at the Australian Open.
“I always enjoy playing singles, but it’s also good to win titles with your friends.
“The Australian Open was great to win and I could celebrate with other people.”
It caps off a busy two years for Odgers, who represented Australia in last year’s Commonwealth Games.
And her playing schedule doesn’t seem to be getting any lighter.
“I’m going over to New Zealand with the Jackaroos, where they will pick a team for the Asian Pacific championships being played in December,” she said.
“They pick five women from that, who will then participate in the championships.”
Odgers says she’s looking forward to the coming season with Sunbury, which is in division 2, section 2 this season.
This year she will concentrate on playing, having given up a coaching role.
“I loved coming back to Sunbury,” she says. “There’s a good group of people; I really enjoy playing there.
“Hopefully, we can go one step further and get into division 1.
“With that little bit more experience in finals, hopefully, we will be a little bit smarter,” she says.
“I’m not coaching this year; I’ve decided to focus on my other bowls commitments. But if people need help, I’ll be willing to help them.”