YOUNG GUN: Maddie Williams, 16, has re-signed for the Boroondara Express in the Victorian Netball League (VNL). Photo: PAUL MENSCH

FORMER South Mildura netballer Maddie Williams has re-signed for Victorian Netball League side (VNL) Boroondara Express for the 2018 season.

The 16-year-old defender impressed in the Express’s Under 19 squad in 2017 and will look to help her side into the VNL finals next year.

Now residing in Melbourne and attending Caulfield Grammar, Maddie will also represent Central East Zone in the Victorian Zone Academy Championships next weekend.  Academy selection allows players access to extra training and competition puts players in front of State scouts.

The Express Under 19 squad finished fifth out of 10 teams in the 2017 season, just missing out on a finals berth.

Maddie said going one step further was the goal for next year, while she hopes to continue her development under the tutelage of coaches Eliza Thornton and Yvonne Porter.

“This season was really beneficial for developing my skills and helping to improve my overall game,” she said.

“It’s such a high standard of netball and I feel like it has really helped me improve my game.

“My netball has benefitted a lot. It’s a fair bit of a change from playing country netball. I’m up against some athletic girls who are really strong players.

“The coaches have really helped to teach me new styles of defending, and little tricks and ways to get around my opponent.

“Some of the Melbourne Vixens team members play in the VNL if they are on the fringe of selection, so there are plenty of quality players around the club.”