Susan Pettitt to call a day on netball in 2018

Words: giantsnetball.com.au

Susan Pettitt will call an end to her netball career at the end of the 2018 Suncorp Super Netball season, retiring from both domestic and international netball.

The GIANTS Netball and Australian Diamonds shooter, who has played 71 elite games at the international level and 226 at the domestic level, is one of the most experienced players in the league and currently sits at the top of the domestic ladder as the most capped current player in Suncorp Super Netball. By the end of the regular season, she should reach the 230 mark, with a potential GIANTS finals berth sure to add a few more to that total.

Taking her place on the national league stage in 2002 with the Sydney Sandpipers, Pettitt has played 17 seasons of elite national league netball in addition to representing Australia on the world stage at three Commonwealth Games and the 2007 World Championships. She is grateful for the opportunities her career has presented her with.

“I’m so blessed to be able to do all those things and to travel the world and meet some amazing people and teammates who are lifelong friends now.

“I would never have dreamed that back in 2002 when I made my debut that I would be at this point and talking about this. I’m over the moon to be part of so many games and very lucky not to have any time out of the game.

“I’m looking forward to the next four rounds leading to the finals and hopefully making it a few more games to add to the tally,” she says.

GIANTS Netball Head Coach Julie Fitzgerald has nothing but praise for the departing star who has made a real impact on the GIANTS team with her versatile playing style and quick thinking under the post.

“I have known Susan for many years now and it has always been a joy to work with her. The passion and dedication that she brings to each and every moment is something that makes her such a pleasure to coach, while her skill and creativity on court have made my job much easier.

“Being able to watch her develop over the years has truly been one of the highlights of my career. As a player who forged her netball career at a small Association on the Sapphire Coast and then went on to become an elite professional athlete and represent her country on the global stage, Susan is an inspiration for all up-and-coming regional athletes.

“We will deeply miss having her on the GIANTS team, but she will always remain a part of our GIANTS family and we wish her every success as she embarks on her new adventures,” says Fitzgerald.

Pettitt herself has loved being a member of the GIANTS side since the inaugural season in 2017.

“Being part of GIANTS is something pretty special. Not many players can say they helped to start a club from scratch and I think that was what was enticing me to join the GIANTS – the idea of ‘we can start a team from nothing and create a culture that we’re really proud of’.

“I’m really looking forward to finishing this season off and then going to finals with these girls,” she says. “I want to go out with a bang and I want to enjoy every moment with these girls.”

Regarding also retiring from international play, Pettitt knows she is lucky to have represented her country at the international level.

“It’s kind of hard to put into words. I think that anyone who has represented Australia in their chosen sport, hearing your national anthem is the most special moment where all those hard hours in the gym and on the court have all been worth it. To stand up there with some close friends I think it’s such a special moment, it’s something that not many people get to do so you’ve got to cherish it. It means everything.

“People who followed my career and people who know me would know that it was a very challenging four years not being in the Australian team and I would like to be known as someone who’s resilient, who persevered through those tough times and has shown that I’m up for the challenge and I fought my way back. That’s something I’m really proud of,” Pettitt says.

It wasn’t an easy decision for Pettitt, but it was one that had been a while in the making and took quite a bit of careful consideration.

“For me to fight my way back into the Diamonds and to play a Commonwealth Games at home – and my third Commonwealth Games – is extremely special and I think that was probably my moment where I went ‘it can’t get much better than this and I’m going to call it at the end of 2018’.

“This year has been an absolute fairy tale. The GIANTS are playing really well too so it just all kind of fit in well. It was perfect timing,” she says. “I just knew that I was ready to go on to the next chapter.”

She is also grateful for the support she has received from GIANTS fans and those fans who have followed her during her domestic and international career.

“I think it’s incredible the amount of love you get from the fans,” Pettitt shares. “I hope they come along to be there for my final GIANTS games. Their support means so much to us and we’d love nothing more than to have a massive crowd at our last home game in Round 14 against Fever.”

Pettitt will remain with GIANTS Netball for the rest of the 2018 Suncorp Super Netball season and will continue to be a central part of the team as they head into the final four rounds of the season and fight to remain in the Top 4 and finals contention.