New South Wales Swifts

Last updated
New South Wales Swifts
Based in Sydney
Regions New South Wales
Home venue QuayCentre (5,006)
Qudos Bank Arena (18,200)
Head coachBriony Akle
Asst coach Megan Anderson, Anita Keelan
Captain Helen Housby
Vice-captainPaige Hadley
Premierships1 (2008)
League Suncorp Super Netball
2018 placing6th


The New South Wales Swifts is an Australian netball team based in Sydney which competes in the Suncorp Super Netball league. The team previously competed 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 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 Briony Akle, who replaced previous coach Rob Wright after the 2017 season. Home games are usually played at the State Sports Centre in Sydney Olympic Park and Qudos Bank Arena, also in Sydney Olympic Park. The team uniform is primarily red with white and light blue.


2019 NSW Swifts roster
PlayersCoaching staff
Australia Kate Eddy GD, WD, GK28/12/19961.82 m (6 ft 0 in)
Australia Sophie Garbin GA, GS06/04/19971.84 m (6 ft 0 in)
Australia Paige Hadley (vc)C, WA26/08/19921.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
England Natalie Haythornthwaite WA, GA09/12/19921.74 m (5 ft 9 in)
England Helen Housby (c)GA, GS19/01/19951.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Australia Sarah Klau GK, GD30/09/19941.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Australia Lauren Moore GD, GK30/01/19981.84 m (6 ft 0 in)
Australia Maddy Proud C, WA04/12/19931.74 m (5 ft 9 in)
Australia Maddy Turner GD, WD17/12/19951.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Trinidad and Tobago Samantha Wallace GS, GA16/01/19941.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
Head coach
  • Australia Briony Akle

Manager: Gail Eckert

  • (c) Captain
  • (cc) Co-captain
  • (vc) Vice-captain
  • Injury / maternity leave
  • (TRP) Temporary Replacement Player
Player profiles: Team website Last updated: 25 September 2018


Formation and inaugural season, 2007-2008

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. [1] 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. [2] 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. [3]

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. [4]

The Swifts were one of the first franchises to name their squad for the inaugural season. [5] Australian national players Catherine Cox and Selina Gilsenan were announced as captain and vice-captain, respectively. [4] 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. [6] After the game, the Swifts' veteran midcourt player Selina Gilsenan announced her retirement.

2008 NSW Swifts Team: Catherine Cox (Captain), Selina Gilsenan (Vice Captain), Erin Bell, Rebecca Bulley, Kimberlee Green, Adelaide Johnson, Emma Koster, Tiffany Lincoln, Susan Pettitt, Kimberley Purcell, Leah Shoard, Vanessa Ware.

Coaching and Support Staff: Coach - Julie Fitzgerald, Assistant Coach - Tracey Robinson, Manager - Jan Troy, Physiotherapist - Sean Mungovan, Strength and Conditioning - Bryce Cavanagh

ANZ Championship, 2009-2016

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 Canterbury 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 Pettitt after falling down heavily. Despite Cox missing one shot, Pettitt 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 next 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.

2009 NSW Swifts Team: Catherine Cox (Captain), Erin Bell, Rebecca Bulley, Kimberlee Green, Emma Koster, Ashlee Mann, Jessica Mansell, Samantha May, Susan Pettitt, Kimberley Purcell, Vanessa Ware, Amorette Wild.

Coaching and Support Staff: Coach - Julie Fitzgerald, Assistant Coach - Tracey Robinson, Manager – Jan Troy, Physiotherapist – Sean Mungovan, Strength and Conditioning – Bryce Cavanagh

Summary of 2009 player movements
Increase GainsDecrease Losses

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.

2010 NSW Swifts Team: Catherine Cox (Captain), Ashleigh Brazill, Rebecca Bulley, Kristy Guthrie, Kimberlee Green, Samantha May, Sonia Mkoloma, Susan Pettitt, Kimberley Purcell, Courtney Tairi, Vanessa Ware, Lara Welham, Amorette Wild.

Coaching and Support Staff: Coach - Julie Fitzgerald, Assistant Coach - Rob Wright, Manager - Angela Kerr, Physiotherapists - Sean Mungovan and Paula Peralta, Strength and Conditioning - Bryce Cavanagh

Summary of 2010 player movements
Increase GainsDecrease Losses

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.

2011 NSW Swifts Team: Catherine Cox (Captain), Ashleigh Brazill, Rebecca Bulley, Carla Dziwoki, Mo'onia Gerrard, Kimberlee Green (Co-Vice Captain), Sonia Mkoloma, Susan Pettitt, Kimberley Smith (netball player) (Co-Vice Captain), Courtney Tairi, Vanessa Ware, Amorette Wild.

Coaching and Support Staff Coach - Julie Fitzgerald, Assistant Coach - Rob Wright, Manager - Angela Kerr, Physiotherapists - Sean Mungovan and Paula Peralta, Strength and Conditioning - Bryce Cavanagh

Summary of 2011 player movements
Increase GainsDecrease Losses
  • Carla Dziwoki (Firebirds 2009)
  • Mo'onia Gerrard (Thunderbirds 2008-2010)

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 Kimberley Smith (netball player) 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).

2012 NSW Swifts Team: Mo'onia Gerrard (Co-Captain), Kimberlee Green (Co-Captain), Kimberly Borger, Carla Dziwoki, Kristy Guthrie, April Letton, Samantha May, Sonia Mkoloma, Susan Pettitt (Vice-Captain), Joanne Sutton, Vanessa Ware, Amorette Wild.

Coaching and Support Staff Head Coach - Lisa Beehag, High Performance Coach - Sue Hawkins, Assistant Coach/Performance Analysis - Rob Wright, Manager - Rebecca Pollard, Physiotherapists - Brett Doring and Paula Peralta and Sean Mungovan, Strength & Conditioning - Jason Schulman

Summary of 2012 player movements
Increase GainsDecrease Losses

The 2013 ANZ Championship season has seen the sport soar to new heights, with records tumbling across the board. Record scorelines, record crowds, and record memberships, all reflect the growing popularity of the world’s premier domestic netball competition, ANZ Championship. While the NSW Swifts did not feature in the Finals this year, the team won many admirers throughout the competition for their never-say-die attitude, contesting a number of close matches down to the wire.In years to come, 2013 will be fondly remembered for a series of extraordinary feats. As a roster, there were ten player milestones celebrated, a debut for NSW netballing “Talent”, and players rewarded with selection in Australian representative squads. NSW Swifts’ athletes were named the game MVP on six occasions, and the Club retained the Sargeant-McKinnis Cup for a fourth straight season with a stirring nine-goal away victory over the Melbourne Vixens. The NSW Swifts also enjoyed record Membership in 2013, and the Club’s Round 11 game against the Adelaide Thunderbirds at Allphones Arena saw a new NSW Swifts’ regular season home crowd record of 8,021. 2013 will also be remembered as the season the Club celebrated the career and contribution of Vanessa Ware, who after 107 games as a Swift decided to hang up the netball shoes at season’s end. Mo’onia Gerrard also announced she was taking a break from playing elite netball during the 2014 ANZ Championship to pursue her Olympic Rugby Sevens dream, but will remain part of the Club with a role in the restructured Swifts’ coaching panel next season.

2013 NSW Swifts Team: Mo'onia Gerrard (Co-Captain), Kimberlee Green (Co-Captain), Susan Pettitt (Vice-Captain), Carla Dziwoki, Paige Hadley, April Letton, Samantha May, Sonia Mkoloma, Melissa Tallent, Vanessa Ware, Ashlee Weir, Amorette Wild.

Coaching and Support Staff: Head Coach - Lisa Beehag, Assistant Coach - Rob Wright, Manager - Toni Kidwell, Physiotherapists - Brett Doring and Paula Peralta and Daniel Vukovic, Strength & Conditioning Coach - Damien Austin, Doctor - Dr Grace Bryant

Summary of 2013 player movements
Increase GainsDecrease Losses
  • Kimberly Borger
  • Kristy Guthrie
  • Joanne Sutton (Retired)

The 2014 ANZ Championship season was another record-breaking year for the NSW Swifts, both on and off the court. From record Membership numbers to record crowd numbers, the Swifts also featured in the Finals Series for the first time since 2011.

We celebrated our highest Membership numbers to date with 1,676 signing up to cheer from the Red Zone, as well as setting a new ANZ Championship regular season crowd of 10,118 at Allphones Arena – smashing the previous record of 8,509.

The Club welcomed a new Head Coach – albeit a familiar face – in Rob Wright, as well as six new recruits in the playing roster, including three ANZ Championship debutants. The team faced many challenges at the beginning of their 2014 campaign, from developing new combinations to season-ending injuries. But with skill and sheer determination, the Swifts finished the regular season in third place to host Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic in the Minor Semi Final.

The roster’s outstanding performances throughout the season were acknowledged with higher honours; four Swifts were selected in the 2014 Australian Diamonds squad, three athletes will represent Australia at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, with a further player named in the Australian 21/U squad, as well as league honours for Susan Pettitt and Kimberlee Green – voted into the 2014 FOXTEL ANZ Championship All-Star Team, and an ANZ Championship joint-Most Valuable Player nod for Green.

2014 NSW Swifts Team: Kimberlee Green (Captain), Carla Dziwoki, Paige Hadley, Madeline Hay, Sharni Layton, April Letton, Abbey McCulloch, Brooke Miller, Sonia Mkoloma, Susan Pettitt, Gretel Tippett, Caitlin Thwaites, Sarah Wall.

Coaching and Support Staff: Head Coach - Rob Wright, Assistant Coach - Megan Anderson, Technical Assistant Coach - Anita Keelan, Contracted Defensive Specialist Coach - Mo'onia Gerrard, Contacted Midcourt Specialist Coach - Megan Simpson, Apprentice Coaches - Briony Akle and Moira Gaha, Team Manager - Toni Kidwell, Performance Analyst - Bjorn Maddern, Physiotherapists - Paula Peralta and Brett Doring and Daniel Vukovic, Netball NSW Strength & Conditioning Coach - Jason Howell

Summary of 2014 player movements
Increase GainsDecrease Losses

2015 NSW Swifts Team: Jade Clarke, Julie Corletto, Taylah Davies, Kimberlee Green, Paige Hadley, Erin Hoare, Sharni Layton, Abbey McCulloch, Susan Pettitt, Caitlin Thwaites, Micaela Wilson, Stephanie Wood

Summary of 2015 player movements
Increase GainsDecrease Losses

Super Netball, 2017-present

The Swifts entered the new Suncorp Super Netball league in 2017 with head coach Rob Wright, however the team struggled to compete against their newer, higher-ranked opponents who had poached several of their best players before the start of the competition. In 2018, former Sydney Swifts player Briony Akle was appointed coach of the team. [7] Despite improved results on the court, the Swifts again failed to make finals, finishing the regular season in sixth place. The poor result was compounded by the loss of captain Abbey McCulloch for the entire 2019 season, after she suffered a serious knee injury. [8]

List of captains


The Swifts play their home games at four different stadiums throughout the season: Australia's largest permanent indoor venue Qudos Bank Arena, and the State Sports Centre, both in Sydney's Olympic Precinct at Homebush Bay. The Swifts also play select games at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre and the AIS Arena in Canberra.

Competitive record

ANZ Championship

Suncorp Super Netball

Notable Former Players


Each year the NSW Swifts season culminates in the NSW Swifts Gala Dinner, a black tie event held at the conclusion of the ANZ Championship season where the team, members and fans celebrate the season that was. Since the inaugural NSW Swifts season in 2008, three player awards have been presented at each gala dinner; Most Valued Player, Members’ Player of the Year and Players’ Player.

NSW Swifts Most Valued Player

Voted on by the coaches of each ANZ Championship team during the regular season; players are nominated in the three specific areas; midcourt, shooters and defenders with the results forwarded to the ANZ Championship office.

2008 Australia Catherine Cox
2009 Australia Catherine Cox
2010 Australia Rebecca Bulley
2011 Australia Catherine Cox
2012 Australia Susan Pettitt
2013 Australia Kimberlee Green
2014 Australia Kimberlee Green

NSW Swifts Members’ Player of the Year

NSW Swifts Members are given the chance to vote for their Player of the Year at the end of the regular season using a 3-2-1 voting system.

2008 Australia Catherine Cox
2009 Australia Susan Pettitt
2010 Australia Rebecca Bulley
2011 Australia Kimberlee Green
2012 Australia Kimberlee Green
2013 Australia Kimberlee Green
2014 Australia Kimberlee Green

NSW Swifts Players' Player

This award is voted on by the 12 NSW Swifts players and is based around performance both on and off the court. Although the NSW Swifts are a high performance team, the importance of being funny and fun both on and off the court is of paramount importance.

2008 Australia Emma Koster
2009 Australia Kimberley Smith
2010 Australia Kimberlee Green
2011 Australia Kimberley Smith
2012 Australia April Letton
2013 England Sonia Mkoloma
2014 Australia Sharni Layton

NSW Swifts Coaches' Award

Introduced in 2013, the Coaches' Award is selected and voted upon by the Swifts’ coaching staff, and is presented to the player who demonstrated individual commitment to improved performance during competition matches and training throughout the season. Season 2013 will be the first presentation of this award for the NSW Swifts Club.

2013 Australia Paige Hadley
2014 Australia Sarah Wall

NSW Swifts Club Person of the Year

A new award in Season 2013, the Club Person of the Year embodies the competitiveness, passion, patience, loyalty, respect, selflessness, sacrifice, hard work, desire, professionalism and determination of the NSW Swifts Club. Nominated by peers from the Club, and selected by a panel of Club representatives, this award can be presented to a representative of the NSW Swifts Club.

2013 Australia Gail Eckert (Netball NSW General Manager - Operations and Events)
2014 Australia Sarah Sugar (Netball NSW Sponsorship Manager)

NNSW Waratahs

The Netball New South Wales Waratahs are a team in the second-tier Australian Netball League that have been linked in a formal alignment with the Swifts since 2016. [9] All four Swifts training partners are included in the Waratahs team each season. [10] The current Swifts coach Briony Akle coached the Waratahs for several years before her appointment at the Swifts.


  1. Australian Associated Press (2007-03-12). "Trans-Tasman netball tournament in 2008". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
  2. Australian Associated Press (2007-03-13). "Game enters new era with trans-Tasman trophy". The Age. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
  3. "NSW Netball boss speaks up". Newstalk ZB. 2007-03-13. Archived from the original on 2008-03-15. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
  4. 1 2 Carbonaro, Ben (2008-12-08). "New South Wales team announced". Archived from the original on 2007-12-09. Retrieved 2009-03-08.
  5. NSW Swifts. "NSW SWIFTS; red hot and ready to take on world". Archived from the original on 2009-09-15. Retrieved 2009-03-08.
  6. Paine, Chris (2008-06-28). "Swifts down Magic in grand final thriller". ABC News. Retrieved 2009-03-08.
  7. "Briony Akle named as NSW Swifts head coach". The Sydney Morning Herald. 12 September 2017.
  8. "Swifts captain Abbey McCulloch to step away from Super Netball in 2019". 6 September 2018.
  9. "New look ANL season gets underway". Netball Australia. 20 April 2016.
  10. "2018 Netball New South Wales Waratahs team revealed". 20 December 2017.
Sporting positions
New creation ANZ Championship winners
Succeeded by
Melbourne Vixens