They’ve had an extraordinary season on the football field, now the Giants have their very own netball team, which will compete in the all-new National Netball League.
The new club, which will play five games out of Sydney Olympic Park and two in Canberra, is one of eight teams contesting the Australian-only competition, which commences in February 2017.
The other sides include the five existing ANZ Championship teams – Adelaide Thunderbirds, Melbourne Vixens, NSW Swifts, Queensland Firebirds and West Coast Fever – and fellow new licensees Collingwood Magpies Netball Club and Sunshine Coast Lightning.
Giants coach Julie Fitzgerald has assembled a formidable playing roster for the club’s debut season, which features a blend of international representatives and exciting young talent with NSW ties.
NSW stalwarts Kimberlee Green and Susan Pettitt will join the Giants for its inaugural season, alongside English imports Jo Harten and Serena Gutherie, as well as recent Australian Diamond debutant Kristiana Manu’a.
They will be joined by reigning ANZ Championship Best New Talent recipient and western Sydney junior Kristina Brice, as well as 2016 U20 international representatives Toni Anderson and Sydney-born Jamie-Lee Price from Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic.
Returning home to NSW will be Brice’s 2016 Adelaide Thunderbirds teammate and Newcastle native Sam Poolman, while former NSW Swift and State captain Taylah Davies finalises the 10-player line-up.
“I think we have created a perfectly balanced team, which will put us in a really strong position for the 2017 National Netball League,” Fitzgerald said.
“There are more than 250 international caps amongst the playing group, which also features some of netball’s rising stars. The potential of this team is incredibly exciting and
I can’t wait for pre-season to get started to see what they can do together.”
Fitzgerald also made mention of the strong representation of NSW athletes in the Giants team.
“80 per cent of our 2017 roster has a direct link to NSW – whether they were born here, or have played their junior netball here – and I hope this inspires young NSW netballers that one day they too could play for the club,” she said.
“NSW netball has such a strong, proud and rich history, and I’m looking forward to this team contributing to the next chapter.
“I am just thrilled to be home and have the chance to create a new club from the ground up; surrounded by great players that I believe fans will want to watch with interest.”
Owned and operated by Netball NSW, Giants Netball sits within the wider Giants AFL Family. Giants Netball players and coaching staff will receive access to high performance facilities, performance analysis equipment and expertise, and the use of their state-of-the-art gym.
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for nearly a decade.