Back in 2015 when the idea of an Australian-only League was first tabled by Netball Australia, Netball NSW had a vision: to bring more elite netball to our State.
It would be a huge undertaking and when the journey began there were a lot more questions than answers. Could NSW sustain two professional franchises? Was there a big enough appetite in the community? What would the new team look like?
Despite the perceived challenges, in the end Netball NSW felt it was their responsibility to grasp this opportunity on behalf of its 116,000 registered members.
And so, in September 2016, GIANTS Netball was born.
The Club’s Foundation year has been one of celebration, of heartbreak and of belief. An undefeated start to the season unmatched by any other franchise only solidified our place in the competition – the GIANTS were here to play.
However 2017 was not without its challenges. Two season ending injuries into our campaign – Kristiana Manu’a rupturing her Achilles Tendon during pre-season, while Captain Kimberlee Green fell to the netballers knee (an ACL injury) in Round 5.
Anyone could expect these setbacks to derail the GIANTS campaign. Not the GIANTS.
Instead they forged ahead, finishing the season in third place to host the Minor Semi Final against the Collingwood Magpies Netball Team. And who can forget that game. Down and out in the final quarter, the GIANTS stormed home to win by a single goal, advancing to the Preliminary Final.
They travelled to Melbourne’s Hisense Arena to meet the Minor Premiers, the Vixens, putting together a formidable full-court performance which saw them control the contest from start to finish, setting up a rematch with Sunshine Coast Lightning in the inaugural Suncorp Super Netball Grand Final.
While the title decider didn’t play out as we would hope, it showed great courage, strength and promise for the GIANTS to get there in the first place. Julie Fitzgerald and her players have won hearts across Australia for their optimistic play, their clear love and respect for each other and for the game.
They’ve shown why Netball is the best female sport in Australia, and why 2018 will be the year of the GIANTS.
2017 GIANTS Netball Roster
Kimberlee Green (Captain), Jo Harten (Captain), Sam Poolman (Vice Captain), Toni Anderson, Kristina Brice, Bec Bulley*, Taylah Davies, Serena Guthrie, Kristiana Manu’a, Susan Pettitt, Jamie-Lee Price, Sarah Wall*.
Training Partners: Kiera Austin, Maddie Hay, Teigan O’Shannassy, Amy Parmenter.
Head Coach: Julie Fitzgerald Assistant Coach: Tania Obst
Team Manager: Dani Delamere
Physiotherapist: Craig Paulsen Strength & Conditioning: Simone Freeman
Performance Analysis: Zoe Vicic Dietician: Jessica Spendlove Team Doctor: Sophie Armstrong
*Permanent Replacement Players
2017 Award Winners
HCF Most Valuable Player: Serena Guthrie
Players’ Player of the Year: Bec Bulley
Members’ Player of the Year: Jo Harten & Sam Poolman
Club Person of the Year: Simone Freeman, S&C Coach
1. Sunshine Coast Lightning
2. GIANTS Netball
3. Melbourne Vixens
4. Collingwood Magpies Netball Team
5. QLD Firebirds
6. NSW Swifts
7. West Coast Fever
8. Adelaide Thunderbirds
View SSN Ladder HERE