GIANTS Netball are excited to announce the elevation of training partner Maddie Hay to their Super Netball Squad for 2020.
Hay has been a part of the GIANTS setup since the inaugural season, spending the past three years working alongside some of Super Netball’s highest regarded athletes and coaches as a training partner.
When recently called into GIANTS HQ by coach Julie Fitzgerald, the 24-year-old midcourter thought it was to discuss other options for 2020, however the veteran coach had other plans.
“I was certain she was sending me off to England – I’ve been telling people all week,” said Hay.
An emotional and speechless foundation training partner was a mix of emotions when the offer was put on the table.
“I’m speechless, I’m shocked – I can’t believe it.
“Every single minute of the past three years I’ve just been wanting to be a part of that 10 (person roster).
“It’s what every girl dreams of, to be part of that 10.”
Hay’s situation is quite unique, in that she has already debuted for the club and has a number and locker.
GIANT #16 debuted for the club in Round 1 of season 2019, when she took the court during the first quarter due to a blood injury.
With the retirement of GIANTS great Kim Green, the opening became available for Hay – also a product of the Sutherland Shire Netball club – to make the step up to the next level permanently.
“I’m really honoured. I know how hard it is, the hard work I have had to put in, the sacrifices I have had to make – it’s so worth it.
“I’m actually a bit sad that I don’t get to play with Kim, but she’s such a good friend of mine and I’m sure she will mentor me every step of the way.
“I definitely won’t fill her shoes, but I’ll do my best to make my own kind of shoes and make my own impact on the team.”
Coach Julie Fitzgerald was full on praise for Hay.
“We’re delighted to be able to offer Maddie this opportunity after she’s worked tremendously hard over a number of years,” says Fitzgerald.
“She deserves her opportunity and it’s fitting that as one brilliant home grown talent is ending her career, we’re able to offer an opportunity to another local player to hopeful excel at the elite level.”