Team Behind The Team: GIANTS Netball

We have an amazing team behind the team at the GIANTS and they all go above and beyond to make sure the team has the opportunity to perform at their best.

Julie Fitzgerald

She’s known as the super coach but her contribution spans further than just her on court achievements and list of accolades.

Going above and beyond is something that coach Julie Fitzgerald has done for many seasons and something that has contributed to her success and long career as a coach.

In her first year under Fitzgerald at the GIANTS, Caitlin Bassett said Fitzgerald goes above and beyond her role as a coach by actively getting to know each of her players off the court. 

“Whether it be a chat before training or having players over for dinner, Julie puts in the time to grow her relationship with each individual,” Bassett said.

Jenny O’Keefe
Assistant Coach

2019 was Assistant Coach Jenny O’Keeffe’s first year at the GIANTS.

Young gun Matilda McDonell said O’Keeffe is the epitome of the words hardworking, genuine and intelligent.

“Her approach with athletes is always honest yet considerate, acknowledging that growth is a process and not something that happens overnight,” she said.

“I think the best thing ever about Jen is not only how she values you as a netballer, but also who you are as a person.

“We are so lucky to have her – (she’s a) deadset legend.” 

Denny Peacock
Team Operations Manager

Team Operations Manager Denny Peacock was awarded the GIANTS Club Person of the Year at the 2019 Gala Dinner, an award nominated by the players and her peers.

The whole playing group couldn’t speak more highly of Peacock, with defender Kristiana Manu’a  recognising her for being such a selfless person.

“She is a person who genuinely cares for your wellbeing as an athlete and an individual,” she said.

“Someone who I am grateful to have in my life.”

Simone Freeman
Strength and Conditioning Coach

Strength and conditioning coach Simone Freeman goes above and beyond to ensure the team is in great condition to be able to perform at their best on the court for the duration of each season.

Second year GIANT Kiera Austin is extremely grateful to have the services of Freeman at the GIANTS.

“She is hardworking, dedicated and definitely puts us through our paces each week to ensure we are the best athletes we can be,” she said.

“I’ve never had much upper body strength, but this year myself and a few others were able to do a single chin up unassisted.

“It may sound trivial but it is a huge reflection on the work Sim puts into our program so we can achieve little goals like this and then furthermore achieve our goals on court.”

Gemma Vale

Team Physio Gemma Vale works hard to ensure the team is ready to train and play at their best each week.

Defender Sam Poolman acknowledged Vale’s work and said that the team is lucky to have both a great physio but also someone they get along with so well away from the court.

“While injuries are a part of sport, we are constantly working with Gemma to make sure any niggles or areas of concern are managed before becoming something more serious,” she said

“As players we are fortunate to be surrounded by staff who are just as passionate as us as players to be the best. Always finding new ideas and best practices.”

Zoe Vcic
Performance Analyst

Performance Analyst Zoe Vcic was recognised as the GIANTS Club Person of the Year in 2018 and has continued about her way in season 2019.

Breakout player Amy Parmenter said: “Vcic is just a great person to have in the team, encouraging and passionate – she has so much confidence in our ability.”

“She knows the answer to every question about netball and technology you could possibly have,” she said.

“Zoe goes above and beyond to know every little detail about our opposition and the work she does is so valuable to our performance.”

Whether they are a coach, orange cutter, artistic director, planner, chauffeur, sherpa or sideline hero – they are all united by uncommon care.

Recognise your uncommon hero who goes above and beyond.

Share with us, in 100 words or less, the story of someone who has helped you in your netball journey.

Enter and you will go in the draw to win a 2020 GIANTS Netball Family Membership for you and your uncommon hero.