NS PHOTO SHOOT: Behind the scenes with the Australian Men’s netball team

NS PHOTO SHOOT: Behind the scenes with the Australian Men’s netball team

By |2022-11-10T14:03:33+10:00November 9th, 2022|Categories: AUS, International|Tags: , , |0 Comments

In a must-see photo essay, Netball Scoop sport’s photographer May Bailey takes you behind the scenes of the Australian Men’s team during their recent test matches against New Zealand and England.

Bailey travelled with the squad during the series, capturing both the on court action, and the rarely granted access beyond it. Images from each game were published in our match reports, but the collection below shows some of the special moments before and after the the games.

Eugene Lee, who took the court in both series and at the Fast5 World Series, also shared his insights about these historic matches.

With thanks to May Bailey, Eugene Lee, Heath Brown and AMMNA for their support and permission in publishing this series.

 

 

Eugene Lee (centre) welcoming debutante Anton Stechiwskyj (left) and returning team member Tim Malmo (right). Image May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

“I have so many friends that I’ve made through netball. It’s always brought me joy, whether it’s working my butt off training or fitness testing, winning or losing. It always puts a smile on my face, even after a tough day at work.” Eugene Lee 

 

Menulog anyone? Brodie Roberts refuelling while Dravyn Lee-Tauroa catches him on Tik Tok. Image May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

Menulog filming continues with Dravyn Lee-Tauroa (left) testing out Riley Richardson’s and Dylan Nexhip’s (under the table) vocals. Image May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

“We were doing some Tik-toks with Dravyn. I think our Menulog one had a couple of hundred thousand views – we’ve been trying to redo it without as much success so far.” Eugene Lee. 

 

Dravyn Lee-Tauroa (left) and Liam Forcadilla (right). Image May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

Light entertainment by Dravyn Lee-Tauroa. Image May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

“It’s the great thing about our team. We come from different walks of life and different backgrounds, but we all have our crazy personalities and blend in. We work well together.” Eugene Lee

 

Liam Forcadilla and Anton Stechiwskyj aren’t sure whether to be amused – or bemused. Image May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

Eugene Lee, Taylor Glassie and Callum Price see the funny side. Image May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

“We are very big on coming together and embracing the moment.” Eugene Lee

 

Captain Dylan Nexhip going through the run sheet – pre-game proceedings are timed to the minute. Image May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

 

Lachlan Carter checking his phone pre game. Image May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

“With social media and all the different platforms, it’s easier to get the word out there. We can all work together to promote netball, whether that’s us, the Diamonds, or both – netball is for everyone, and you can participate however you want, at whatever level you want. We just want people to enjoy netball.

“That’s the message we need to get across. Even just showing one extra person a post, a video, they might then show another person, or give it a go, and it’s a domino effect.” Eugene Lee

 

Callum Price getting strapped by team physio Alan Kent. Image May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

 

Team physio Alan Kent sinks his elbow into Riley Richardson’s back. Image May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

“Netball gives me that competitive drive. It’s such a strategic game, and I’m a bit of a strategic player, so I really enjoy that. Plus you have to work together as a unit and as a team for success.” Eugene Lee

 

After treatment, Riley Richardson goes into warm up mode. Image May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

 

Down to business. Team stretch in the Qudos Bank Arena changerooms. Image May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

“In the changerooms we were doing our prep, lots of music blaring, people dancing, people getting treatment.” Eugene Lee

 

Dynamic stretching done in pairs – Anton Stechiwskyj (front) and Liam Forcadilla work together. Image May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

 

Time for the coach’s address and playing top presentation to debutantes. Image May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

“The squad got selected in April at Nationals, and then the 16 of us came together for our first camp in August. Five days of training where the coaches selected who went on which tour. It was a great environment, very competitive, and everyone has embraced the new coach and the new programme.” 

 

Former Australian captain, Dan Ryan made the playing top presentation. Image May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

Shirts are presented to (left to right) Anton Stechiwskyj, Callum Price, Stewart Burton and Tim Malmo. Image May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

“We sat down at camp and when we were on tour, to look at our team culture, and to recognise that we’ve taken the next step towards being semi-professional athletes and that we are now in a high performance space. We went through what our expectations were as a team, what our values were, how we wanted to be perceived. 

“The conversations were very positive, with buy in from the players about what we wanted to represent, to put ourselves out there to show people who we were, but also to let our netball do the talking.” Eugene Lee

 

A quick team shot before heading out onto court. Image May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

 

Brodie Roberts gets his last minute playing instructions from coach Nerida Stewart. Image: May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

“Ned (coach Nerida Stewart) always gives us a last chat about what we want to produce on court.” Eugene Lee

 

A good luck hug before the game starts. Image May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

Captain Dylan Nexhip leads the Australian Men’s team on the long walk out onto court. Image May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

“I’m a NSW boy – walking into Qudos Bank Arena was a pinch-me moment. It’s huge, and I’ve sat in the seats to watch so many other things. So to walk out on court, to see family and friends in the crowd, faces that we knew smiling and being so happy for us.” Eugene Lee

 

The staff have done their work – it’s now up to the players. Image May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

Taylor Glassie soaks up his home court at Qudos Bank Arena. Image May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

“It’s been great to see the young ones in the crowd, and have multiple boys asking us for autographs and photos. That makes our heart so full, seeing that little kid realise that there’s a pathway for him to follow in men’s netball.” Eugene Lee. 

 

On court warm ups, led here by Tim Malmo. Image May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

Welcome to Country and the national anthem traditionally take place before the game commences. Image May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

“The first match in New Zealand was surreal, standing on the line with the national anthem playing. To see the crowd rolling in – we are used to having a few hundred to a thousand, so to play in a huge arena with a few thousand people in the crowd to watch us and cheer us on. It brought tears to my eyes.” Eugene Lee

 

The bench watches on during a tight match between Australia and New Zealand in Melbourne: (from left to right) Dylan McPherson, Daniel Cools, Dylan Nexhip, Liam Forcadilla. Image: May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

Taylor Glassie celebrates the moment. Image: May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

“We are a team that wants to be the best in the world. To work really hard, to play amazing netball, and to play the game, not the occasion. We want to sit at the pinnacle of the sport, a team that young kids and other men can aspire to be part of.” Eugene Lee

 

Taking centre stage in a nationally televised match for the first time, Australian Men’s team members Brodie Roberts and Riley Richardson were part of the action and pleased to get the win in the first test against New Zealand. Image: May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

Alistair Punchon chats to New Zealand’s Nick Grimmer after the Melbourne game. Image: May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

Captain Dylan Nexhip holds the Trans Tasman trophy, with Alistair Punchon (left) and Lachlan Carter (right) looking on. Image May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

Australia win the 2022 Trans Tasman trophy in Melbourne. Image: May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

“We haven’t played New Zealand since 2018 due to Covid. It was a really tough series against them, and we really had to earn the win.” Eugene Lee

 

Job well done. Post match celebrations in the Melbourne change rooms. Image: May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

Daniel Cools, Dylan McPherson and Jerome Gillbard head home to Western Australia, but not before getting their hands on the Trans Tasman trophy. Image: May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

“The camaraderie amongst this group is among the best of any team or tour that I’ve been on.” Eugene Lee

 

Time to relax – head coach Nerida Stewart, manager Bec Rodwell and assistant coach Garry Pashen take a moment after the New Zealand series. Image: May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

Team physio Alan Kent. Image: May Bailey I Clusterpix

 

Eugene Lee

Eugene Lee is a NSW based Australian Men’s netballer, who first played as an eight year old. With no pathways to follow, he dropped out of the sport at the end of primary school, before returning in Year 11.

Lee, who plays across goal shooter, goal attack and wing attack, made his way up through the ranks, before debuting for the Open Men in 2018. Known for his accuracy at the post, Lee is a smart, creative athlete, who reads the game well.

Like many of the Australian men, Lee is deeply invested in netball, coaching GWS Fury in the NSW Premier League, and helps out at his home association, Inner West. He also invests time in the NSW Men’s junior development programmes.

 

May Bailey

May Bailey studied photography when she was younger, but didn’t really step behind the camera until she couldn’t find photos of her own netball career. “I missed those special moments, so I originally started taking photos for fun, and it went from there.”

Continuing to develop her craft, Bailey has photographed a number of sports, with highlights along the way including the Netball World Cup held in Liverpool, 2019, Sydney’s FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in 2022, and the recent Australian Men’s netball matches. She said, “It was a pinch-me moment to be part of that historic moment in . To be out there and watching the boys walking into the arena.”

After years of experimenting and learning, Bailey has developed her own unique style. She said, “You have to put yourself in the athlete’s shoes, knowing how hard they’ve worked over the years, and the dedication and commitment it’s taken to reach this level. So it’s capturing their expression and their athleticism, those special moments that might never be repeated.”

One of a handful of women in a male dominated industry, Bailey said while that can be intimidating at times, it’s a fantastic career to have. “I didn’t expect to take this path in life, but it’s pretty amazing when your passion takes you down a whole new road.”

Bailey was a 2019 finalist in the Women Sport Australia awards, and a 2020 finalist in the Women in Sport Action Photo Awards.

May Bailey’s images can be found at Clusterpix Photography, and are available for purchase.

About the Author:

Physiotherapist, writer and netball enthusiast. Feature articles, editorials and co-author of "Shine: the making of the Australian Netball Diamonds". Everyone has a story to tell, and I'm privileged to put some of them on paper. Thank you to the phenomenal athletes, coaches and people in the netball world who open a door to their lives, and let me tiptoe in.