INDEPENDENT NEWS

Maria Folau Retires From Netball

Published: Tue 17 Dec 2019 01:09 PM
SILVER FERNS LEGEND MARIA FOLAU RETIRES FROM NETBALL
17 December, 2019
Silver Ferns great Maria Folau has called time on an illustrious career, which will see her go down in history as one of Netball’s best ever shooters.
The Silver Fern icon has retired from all Netball, playing her final Test series during October’s Constellation Cup.
She signs off on an incredible career with 150 Test caps, a Netball World Cup gold medal (along with three silver medals), two Commonwealth Games gold medals (one silver), a Netball World Youth Cup gold medal, three FAST5 Netball World Series titles and a large following who have admired Folau’s trademark long-range shooting for well over a decade.
Netball New Zealand Chief Executive Jennie Wyllie said it was a significant day in New Zealand’s Netballing history as they farewell one of the sport’s most naturally gifted shooters.
“Her service to the sport and dedication to New Zealand Netball is something we are very thankful for and we wish Maria all the best for her future.”
“Her resume speaks volumes to the talented athlete that Maria is,” Wyllie said.
Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua said Maria Folau will go down in history as one of New Zealand’s Netball greats of the game.
“There is something special about watching Maria seamlessly land those long-range goals from any point in the shooting circle without a furrowed brow.
"You cannot consistently shoot like that, unless you are dedicated and committed to your craft.   She will be long remembered for what she has brought to the game, and we will dearly miss her,” Taurua said.
Folau made her debut in the black dress as Maria Tutaia, an 18-year-old, in 2005 against the Sunshine Girls in Jamaica.
It was the same year she, along with two of New Zealand’s other great ‘fossils’ including Casey Kopua and Laura Langman, won the Netball World Youth Cup with the New Zealand U21 team.
Twelve months later and Folau had become a regular starter for the Silver Ferns and has been a mainstay for the national side ever since.
She represented New Zealand at four Commonwealth Games (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018) and will be remembered for calmly netting the winning goal in sudden death extra time for the gold medal in Delhi in 2010.
Folau also competed at four Netball World Cups including in Sydney in 2015 when she became just the fourth Silver Fern to earn 100 Test caps.
This year she played a major role in helping the Silver Ferns to golden glory in Liverpool in what was her Netball World Cup swansong.
Domestically Folau spent much of her career in the blue strip of the Northern Mystics before this season suiting up for the Adelaide Thunderbirds in Australia’s Super Netball competition.
She ends her time in the black dress as the second most capped Silver Fern in history behind only Laura Langman.

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