The ANZ Championship title defense for the NSW Swifts began today with the announcement of the 12 players that will wear red in 2009.
Retaining six players from their Grand Final starting lineup (WD Selina Gilsenan announced her retirement in 2008), the NSW Swifts have also welcomed four fresh faces to the ranks in 2009.
Former Hunter Jaegers player, Jess Mansell, has been rewarded for her fine performances in the Australian Netball League, where she suited up for the Netball NSW Waratahs. Mansell, a defender, comes from a basketball background, having been identified by the Sydney Flames a couple of years ago.
A blast from the past sees Sarah Barrett join the Swifts in 2009. Sarah will be making her long awaited return to the court after a three year lay-off due to injury. Barrett last took to the court in 2005 in the Commonwealth Bank Trophy for the Sydney Swifts; a competition in which she played 65 games.
NSW Swifts coach, Julie Fitzgerald, believes she has the right mix heading into the 2009 season.
“I’m really looking forward to the 2009 ANZ Championship. 2008 was such a fantastic experience in all facets, but we know that 2009 will tougher as all teams will have learnt from the inaugural season,” Fitzgerald said.
“I’m very excited about the team we’ve been able to put together and firmly believe we have the right mix of youth and experience. To be able to draw from home grown NSW talent is a huge bonus for us and shows that NSW has some great depth in our playing ranks.”
After capturing the inaugural ANZ Championship in front of 12,099 fans at ACER Arena and enjoying a stellar season off the court, the NSW Swifts are confident that these 12 players can continue to build on the foundations set in 2008.
2009 NSW Swifts