New South Wales Swifts
|New South Wales Swifts|
|ANZ Championship team|
|Based in||Sydney, Australia|
|Region||New South Wales|
|Main venue||State Sports Centre|
|Main sponsor||QBE Insurance|
|Head coach||Lisa Beehag|
|Asst coach||Robert Wright|
|Best finish||Champions (2008)|
|Current season • Official website|
The New South Wales Swifts are an Australian netball team based in Sydney that compete in the trans-Tasman ANZ Championship. The Swifts were formed in 2007 as an amalgamation of two teams from the Commonwealth Bank Trophy (CBT) – the Sydney Swifts and the Hunter Jaegers. During their first three years in the ANZ Championship, the Swifts have had mixed fortunes, winning the inaugural championship in 2008, finishing second-last in 2009, followed by a minor premiership in 2010. In 2011 they qualified for the finals stages, finishing fourth.
The Swifts are currently coached by Lisa Beehag, who replaced long-time NSW coach Julie Fitzgerald after the 2011 season. Home games in the ANZ Championship are usually played at the State Sports Centre in Sydney Olympic Park; games have also been played at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre and Allphones Arena in Sydney. The team uniform is primarily red with white and light blue. The Swifts' alternate uniform has the red and light blue colours swapped around and is only used when playing the Canterbury Tactix in New Zealand, since both their main uniforms are primarily red.
The ANZ Championship was founded in 2007 as the new elite domestic netball competition in New Zealand and Australia. It replaced the Commonwealth Bank Trophy in Australia and the trans-Tasman competition was announced, the competition was reported to feature five teams from each country. For the new competition, five Australian franchises were formed from amalgamations of Commonwealth Bank Trophy teams.
The deadline for expressions of interests for Australian franchises was 10 April 2007. In March 2007, Netball Australia chief executive Kate Palmer said that the preferred model was for one team each from New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia. In April this was confirmed as the composition of the league's Australian teams. Netball New South Wales boss Caroline Campbell said that she was disappointed that the Sydney Swifts and the Hunter Jaegars would have to merge.
Details of the franchise were announced in early December. The New South Wales franchise adopted the name "Swifts", after the Sydney Swifts. Julie Fitzgerald, former coach of the Sydney Swifts, was announced as coach for the new ANZ Championship franchise.
Inaugural season, 2008
The Swifts were one of the first franchises to name their squad for the inaugural season. Australian national players Catherine Cox and Selina Gilsenan were announced as captain and vice-captain, respectively. During the 2008 season, the Swifts finished second at the end of the round-robin stage. They defeated the Magic in the semi-finals in Hamilton to progress directly to the grand final. On 28 July 2008, the Swifts defeated the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic 65–56 to win the inaugural season of the ANZ Championship. After the game, the Swifts' veteran midcourt player Selina Gilsenan announced her retirement.
In their preseason tournament, the Sydney Olympic Park Netball Cup, the Swifts won five of their seven games and the other two games ended in a draw. This was enough for the Swifts to win the cup and $10,000.
In the ANZ Championship, the Swifts won their first game against the Canterbuty Tactix (the only team the Swifts didn't win in 2008) by seventeen goals and claimed the top spot in the ladder after round one. In round two, after a well fought game against the Adelaide Thunderbirds, the Swifts lost by one goal. In round three, the Swifts lost by 18 goals to the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic. During that game, the Swifts lost Bulley for falling on the ground head first, Cox after a bad landing on Tod's foot and nearly lost Pratley after falling down heavily. Despite Cox missing one shot, Pratley missing three shots and Bell missing two, it wasn't enough to beat van Dyk's perfect accuracy and Tutaia's one miss. In round four, the Swifts are against the Northern Mystics and despite Cox missing three shots in the final quarter and scoring no rebounds against Latu (who shot 38/40), Cookey and Rasmussen, the Swifts won 59-55 to maintain their winning streak at home. However, after that, the Swifts lost the last 9 games in a row and fell down to 9th place.
After their win against the Canterbury Tactix, the NSW Swifts are the first ever team to win against every opposition. Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic was the second team to achieve this after defeating both the Swifts and Vixens in 2009.
In - Ashley Mann, Jessica Mansell, Samantha May and Amy Wild
After a shocking performance in 2009, the Swifts recruited England defender Sonia Mkoloma to their team. This is the first time that the Swifts have added an international player to their squad. They were the last team in the history of the ANZ Championship to recruit an international player (the Swifts were the only team not to have an import player since the start of the competition). This year, the co-vice captains for the team are Kimberlee Green and Kimberly Smith. In addition, the Swifts have a new assistant coach Robert Wright, current NSW Institute of Sport Development Coach. Wright is officially the first male assistant coach in the ANZ Championship history.
During the off-season, Kimberly Borger from the AIS was added to the squad, but a serious injury meant that she wasn't able to begin her debut for the Swifts. As a result, former Hunter Jaegar member Lara Welham replaced Borger. During the pre-season, Cox was rested due to her ankle injury and wasn't able to take part in both the pre-season training and the SOPA Cup. In the SOPA Cup, the Swifts won five of the seven games, only losing to the West Coast Fever and the eventual pre-season winners Queensland Firebirds.
In the ANZ Championship, many experts believed that the Swifts won't be able to reach the top 4 due to their poor performance last year. As a result, this was the Swifts year of redemption in hopes to return to the top (similar to the Melbourne Vixens in 2009). In round 1, the Swifts upset the Firebirds at Gold Coast by three goals and Cox was named player of the match. In round 2, the Swifts won against the Thunderbirds at their home ground. In round 3, the Swifts played against the Tactix, where the Swifts lost to them at Christchurch in 2008. After the end of regulation time, the game was a draw and extra time had to be played. Cox made a bold move to bench herself due to her poor performance on court for youngster Wild and the Swifts won the match 56-53. In round 4, during the first half, the last place Pulse led the Swifts as much as seven. After trailing by five goals after the first half, the Swifts scored the first ten goals in the second half and won the match 50-36. In round 5, despite conceding the first three goals against the Fever, the Swifts played their best performance after five rounds to win 55-43.
In round 6, the Swifts had a bye after their five match winning streak. It was in this round that the Swifts were the only team not to have a loss when the Vixens had a surprise loss against the Firebirds. In round 7, the Swifts led by one goal at three quarter time, despite trailing by one goal after the first few minutes of the final quarter, the Swifts won the match by 14 goals. In round 8, the Swifts defeated the Thunderbirds and broke their four match winning streak. In round 9, the Swifts defeated the Firebirds and broke their four match winning streak as well. In round 10, the Swifts were comfortable winners against the Fever. In round 11, the Swifts defeated the Mystics and Maria Tutaia was sent off with about a minute and a half of play for persistent breaking on the centre pass. Before round 12, during training, Vanessa Ware suffered a serious knee injury that required reconstruction and not only did it end Ware's season, it also blew away any chance of possible selection into the Diamonds squad. In round 12, the Swifts defeated the Magic despite them having Jade Clarke and not having Vanessa Ware. In round 13, after the scores the tied at half time, the Swifts managed to win by 12 goals against the Vixens in Melbourne. Also during this match, not only was Catherine Cox awarded player of the match, Cox became the second player ever to play 200 games in the domestic league (the first was Sharelle McMahon) and received a bouquet of flowers from Sharelle McMahon. Also, the Swifts won back the Sargeant McKinnis Cup back from the Vixens. In round 14, the Swifts defeated the Steel. As a result, the Swifts were officially the first ever team to go undefeated in the regular season.
In - Sonia Mkoloma (Tactix), Kimberly Borger (AIS and injured), Courtney Tairi (AIS), Ashleigh Brazill, Lara Welham
Out - Erin Bell (Thunderbirds), Emma Koster, Jessica Mansell, Ashlee Mann
After missing out on a spot in last years grand final, the Swifts recruited Mo'onia Gerrard from the Adelaide Thunderbirds. In addition, the Swifts also recruited veteran Carla Dziwoki after making a great impact at both in state league and in the Australian National League as well as forming a great shooting combination with current Swifts player Amy Wild. The Swifts are one of only two teams not to have any new players in their team (the other is the Pulse). However, the Swifts have used players not in the main squad during pre-season matches against the Mystics including April Letton, FastNet Diamonds defender.
In - Carla Dziwoki (Firebirds 2009), Mo'onia Gerrard (Thunderbirds 2008-2010)
Out - Samantha May, Lara Welham
The 2012 Season sees many of the NSW Swifts players departing and many players coming in. The major loss is that of Catherine Cox, the team's captain who has been with the Swifts since The Commonwealth Bank Trophy and will be leaving to the West Coast Fever after she was stripped off her captaincy role and was told she was 'not needed' at the Swifts by Lisa Beehag, the 2012 Swifts' Coach. Rebecca Bulley has left to the Adelaide Thunderbirds, Courtney Tairi has left for the Southern Steel and Kimberly Smith has announced her retirement earlier in 2011. Joanna Sutton from the Adelaide Thunderbirds has been signed for the Swifts as well as former Swifts Samantha May. The remaining two gains have been recruited from the ANL NSW Warratahs; Kimberly Borger and Kristy Guthrie (née Durheim).
Name and colours
The team's name and colours were announced in early December 2007. The New South Wales Swifts take the name of former Commonwealth Bank Trophy team, the Sydney Swifts. The team adopted the official colours waratah red, blue and white. The waratah is the state flower of New South Wales; red is also the main colour of AFL team the Sydney Swans: like the Adelaide Thunderbirds, the West Coast Fever and the Melbourne Vixens, the Swifts have aligned themselves with an AFL club, in this case the Sydney Swans. Blue is also the colour of the New South Wales State of Origin team.
2013 New South Wales Swifts roster
Strength and conditioning: Bryce Cavanagh
|Player profiles: Team website • ANZC website||Last updated: 14 January 2012|
The Swifts play their home games at three different stadiums throughout the season: Allphones Arena and Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre, both in Sydney's Olympic Precinct at Homebush Bay, as well as at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre.
- Australian Associated Press (2007-03-12). "Trans-Tasman netball tournament in 2008". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
- Australian Associated Press (2007-03-13). "Game enters new era with trans-Tasman trophy". The Age. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
- "NSW Netball boss speaks up". Newstalk ZB. 2007-03-13. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
- Carbonaro, Ben (2008-12-08). "New South Wales team announced". SportsAustralia.com. Retrieved 2009-03-08.
- NSW Swifts. "NSW SWIFTS; red hot and ready to take on world". Retrieved 2009-03-08.
- Paine, Chris (2008-06-28). "Swifts down Magic in grand final thriller". ABC News. Retrieved 2009-03-08.
|New creation||ANZ Championship winners