It was the debut that Kelsie Rainbow has waited for over an ambitious career – and it’s one she may have to wait a further week to truly fulfil.
Rainbow sat anxiously on the bench for 60 minutes on Saturday night, just as her Collingwood Magpies teammates finally delivered that treasured first Super Netball win of the season.
But the 21-year-old from Winnaleah somehow for one night didn’t mind a bit.
“It was so exciting and was just such a good experience,” Rainbow said.
“To be a part of a team that’s playing at the highest level just felt awesome.”
The whirlwind exercise from Victorian Fury ANL outsider to the inner sanctum with Australian Diamonds Caitlin Thwaites, Madi Robinson and Sharni Layton only came about when she signed in the offseason for the Tasmanian Magpies.
But an unexpeted promotion to Collingwood’s elite ranks less than a month ago changed all that.
Rainbow got the nod to join the 10-player squad at Hisense Arena only after receiving a phone call from coach Kristy Keppich-Birrell on Friday afternoon.
The Australian under-20s representative was a late replacement for Super Netball regular Kim Ravaillion.
But Rainbow never had anticipated the star Magpies midcourter was under an injury cloud.
“I just had no idea, so it came as a surprise to get the phone call,” Rainbow.
Rainbow can now understand she has the eyes of the selection panel squarely focused on her deeds for the Tasmanians.
“It’s still really competitive and there are girls in our side that could really be given that opportunity,” she said.
“I mean it’s always nice to be given your first call-up, but there’s still so much hard work to go.”