NETBALL: It was one of the worst feelings of her life - being shunned by clubs for the last season of the ANZ Championship in 2016.
Now Taylah Davies believes it might be the making of her.
The young midcourter was understudy to Kim Green until the Giants captain suffered a season-ending ruptured ACL in round five of Super Netball.
Now Davies is taking centre stage for the Giants as the league leaders scramble to rediscover combinations and momentum after the loss of Green.
"I was contracted in 2015 with the Swifts but didn't get re-signed last year and no one else picked me," Davies said.
"It was an important year for me. At the time it wasn't nice. But it has made me better.
"It definitely made me push hard, made me realise how badly I wanted this."
A former beach sprinter and track runner, Davies works as a personal trainer in Wollongong, travelling to a Sydney multiple times a week for training.
Her decision to fight for her netball career is now reaping rewards, with Davies replacing Green at wing attack for the Giants.
The Wollongong netballer made her starting seven debut against the Vixens on Saturday night, the first game the NSW side has played since the loss of Green and their first loss in six rounds.
Davies said Green, who has vowed to return for the club in 2018, has been her biggest supporter.
"She is already mentoring me," Davies said.
"At the first training (after Green's injury) she was right in there, helping, giving me tips and points. It's like having a personal coach."
The Giants will meet the NSW Swifts for the second time this season at Sydney Olympic Park on Saturday night.
The Swifts matched the Giants for the first three-quarters of the opening game of the season in February, before falling to the more experienced Giants by eight goals.
Since then the side has shown great improvement and was desperately unlucky not to take a draw with the Magpies last round, beaten by a goal scored in the final seconds of Sunday's match in Sydney.
Saturday: Fever v Thunderbirds, 4.45pm; Swifts v Giants, 6pm; Sunday: Lightning v Firebirds, 1pm; Magpies v Vixens, 3pm (times AEST)
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