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Hadley primed, proud and ready for 100th Swifts appearance - NSW Swifts

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

NSW Swifts vice-captain Paige Hadley is set to make her 100th appearance for the club when she takes the court against the Adelaide Thunderbirds at University of Sunshine Coast in Sippy Downs on Wednesday night.

The 27-year-old, who made elite debut against the Thunderbirds in 2012, has been a mainstay of the team ever since and was on-court captain in last year’s Suncorp Super Netball Premiership success after club skipper Maddy Proud missed the Finals Series with an ACL injury.

The Penrith native follows in the footsteps of Liz Ellis, Cath Cox, Kim Green and Susan Pettitt in becoming a Swifts centurion - another impressive milestone for the midcourter who has also represented the Australian Diamonds at two World Cups, winning gold in 2015.

In her time at the Swifts Hadley has played three Grand Finals, narrowly losing out on a winners medal in 2015 and 2016 against the Queensland Firebirds before helping end the club’s 11-year wait for a sixth title against the Sunshine Coast Lightning last year.

Ahead of the clash with the Thunderbirds, Hadley said it was nice to be facing the team she debuted against:

"I remember coming on way back then and Adelaide had an amazing team at the time with Sharni Layton and Renae Ingles, and that really showed me what top level netball was all about.

"Unfortunately we didn’t win on the day so I’m hoping it will be a different experience tomorrow evening, 100 games on from when I first played them."

With all Super Netball teams currently in Queensland due to Covid19 outbreaks in Victoria and New South Wales, Hadley said hub-life had been keeping her busy.

"I don’t think I’ve had the chance yet to process the fact that I’m about to play my 100th game," she said.

"It makes me sounds very old when it comes to this current Swifts team, but it’s really special to be able to do it with one club.

"Ideally it would have been great to be playing the game down in Sydney in front of family and friends but I'm sure there are some parcels in the post. The Sunshine Coast is an amazing place, the weather is great and we get to play this year so I can't complain."

The Swifts have enjoyed success over the Thunderbirds in recent times but a draw in Adelaide last year, and some good form from their old rivals, means the Premiers are on guard ahead of the Round 3 clash.

"There will be a lot of confidence coming from them with their first ever win over the Giants at the weekend," Hadley added.

"Their defensive end is quite versatile and quite aerial which will make the two-point shot difficult but for us it’s about improving and focusing on what we can do.

"Despite winning we weren’t super happy with how we played in our last two games and we need to make sure the third-quarter performance we put in against the Fever turns into a four-quarter one."

The Swifts and Thunderbirds do battle tomorrow night at 5.00pm (AET). The game will be broadcast live on Telstra TV and the Telstra Netball Live App.

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