COLBINABBIN netball fans received an Easter treat when one of the country's best young players returned to regional Victoria recently and stepped out on court as a family favour.
Australian 21-and-under squad member Chloe Watson pulled on the Grasshoppers' goal defence bib for their round three clash with Mount Pleasant.
Watson, whose mum grew up in Colbinabbin, is the cousin of A-grade coach and 2012 Heathcote District league best and fairest winner Olivia McEvoy.
"She was really short over the Easter weekend and she asked me along to fill in for them," the 20-year-old said. "I thought it would be fun."
With Watson at GD, her cousin in centre and aunt Anne McEvoy filling in at goal keeper, Colbinabbin scored a 42-34 win over their rivals.
The former Sandhurst star defender said while it was an enjoyable match in the middle of a full-on year of netball, she still felt the weight of expectations.
"Olivia had said to some of the girls that I was coming, so I felt that bit of pressure. Mum used to play out there as well, and I didn't want to embarrass the family name!
"But it really was awesome - I just love football-netball and played (in Bendigo) for as long as I possibly could."
Watson starred for Victoria at the Australian 21-and-under titles in March, earning a place in the national squad.
She is now preparing for a playing tour of New Zealand in early July with an Australian under-23 team made up of non-ANZ Championship players on scholarship at state-based sporting institutes.
She will also attend a selection camp in September where a national 21-and-under team will be chosen to play in practice matches held in conjunction with the Constellation Cup between Australia and the Kiwis.
Raised in Epsom, Watson is now based in Melbourne and is in her second year studying law at Australian Catholic University.
She plays for City West Falcons in the Victorian Netball League and will find out next week if she has made a Victorian team to play in the 2014 Australian National League. She was a member of the Victorian Flames last year.