KEIARAH Brooks' first season at South Bendigo is one the talented young midcourter will never forget for plenty of the wrong reasons.
Brooks, who joined the Bloods after winning Ballarat's A-grade best and fairest in 2019, had her heart set on a big first season in the Bendigo Football Netball League.
It never eventuated due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Fast forward eight months from when the BFNL officially pulled the plug on its 2020 season, Brooks is eager for take two with the Bloods.
Brooks, the club's vice captain last season, said words would never do justice to how much she and her team-mates missed their netball.
"Like anyone who plays a team sport, we missed it horribly, not to say that there weren't some positives, like spending more time with family, or doing things I normally wouldn't have got the chance to do," she said.
"But not much of 2020 was good."
She believed a stop-start season on the training track, with nothing to show in the way of a physical season, had only strengthened the South's players' resolve to do well this season.
"You could feel it leading up to our first training, all the girls were so keen and excited to get back into it," said Brooks, who is originally from Donald.
"We had already been meeting up and doing our own thing in small groups and keeping fit, but we were all so keen to be in a team environment again.
"It's easier to put in the hard work with all your mates than it is doing it by yourself."
A part of a solid batch of recruits for 2020, which included returning former Bloods captain Sarah Nash and Hollie Horbury, Brooks praised another strong performance on the recruiting front by senior coach Jannelle Hobbs, which has netted Abbey Grindal, Hayley Harrington, Ella Turnbull and Amber Hollis.
"We're very excited with all the new girls, not just in terms of netball, they are all just good people," she said.
"There's some really exciting talent among them."
Brooks, who has previously played at VNL level for City West Falcons, described her own circumstances as unique.
"For me, it's a weird situation, I'm not technically a new recruit, but I haven't taken the court in a BFNL match," she said.
"I feel I have something to prove and something to show.
"But I do feel very much at home here and I certainly don't feel new here."
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.