Rattu excited ahead of new season
Ellie Rattu is focussing on the positives from her recent international exploits as she goes into the 2024 NSL season as a Maverick.
A strong showing in England colours has set Rattu up well for the season ahead and she felt that she had taken a lot from the experience.
“It was my first Nations Cup and for me it was a privilege and honour just to be in the team, let alone to actually take to court. It was a massive learning experience for me and I’ve taken a lot from that. Making the final is something we’re trying to make more of a regular thing and we’re trying to learn how to perform more consistently in those situations. We have to push on and make more finals so that we’re ready for when the Commonwealth Games and World Cup come around.”
Reflecting on losing to Australia in another final, Rattu said the Roses are still a work in progress and need to stay focussed on the long term goals.
“It’s important to remember that for a lot of us, that was a new environment to be in. We’ve only just come together as a fairly new team and a lot of us haven’t played in finals or major competitions like this before. We know we can perform better than that but we need to take it as a learning experience and remember where we are in the four year cycle.”
Rattu was delighted at the size of the crowds and believes that the Roses’ 2023 World Cup success has played a big part in more people wanting to watch netball in arenas. On a personal level, she is excited at the prospect of being a part of the World Cup in 2027.
“Whenever you get into the England Roses programme, you want to be there for those major competitions. They’re the things you grow up wanting to play in, so that's definitely a dream of mine. For those of us who haven't been to a World Cup before, that’s very much our focus and our goal, which is such a great motivator. But we have to just take each day as it comes and think about the smaller wins we can get along the way to hopefully get the big win at the end. Playing competitive Super League netball weekly forms the basis of how we can improve at an international level. I think it’s great that the Netball Super League is getting more fans and more coverage because it creates more high pressure games and helps to replicate what a final in a major tournament would be like.”
Looking ahead to the upcoming NSL season, Rattu believes the exposure to international matches that a number of the Mavericks have had sets them apart from other teams in the league.
“The experience that some of us have gained over the past five months has been amazing and hopefully we can bring what we’ve learnt into Mavericks. We’ve learnt how to be patient with the ball and how to gel with a new group of players in a short amount of time. That will be really valuable for our team that is a mix of players who’ve been in the team for years plus new ones. We have such diversity in our team which is really exciting so hopefully we can come together and make that top four.”
Growing up as a Mavericks fan and former pathway player, Rattu knows how important the supporters are to the team, and is relishing being back in the tight-knit community of the Mavericks family.
“Mavericks has been a big part of my life. I used to be a supporter growing up and I remember going to games and having pictures with Sasha Corbin. Having come through the pathway, it’s amazing to be back in the fold and realise that dream that I’ve had from a young age. I know how strong that relationship is with the fans and I’m really excited to spend more time with them and soak up the atmosphere at those home games at HSV."
Rattu also expressed her delight at playing at OVO Arena Wembley again in April with Mavericks as part of ‘The Headliner’ event.
“It’s so exciting to play at Wembley - it’s iconic. I had never played there before and I’m so glad that I got that opportunity to play there as part of the Nations Cup. It’s great that netball is going to be back in that arena this season. Playing in Wembley and being so close to that stadium where all that sporting history has been made - we want to start bringing netball into that history as well. For the fans - it’s such a spectacle and a great day out!”
Words by Ayisha Gulati.