The GIANTS were back at the top of the table in season 2021 as they combined youth and experience in one of their most successful seasons to date.
GIANTS Netball achieved our second Minor Premiership in 2021 and also made our second appearance in the Suncorp Super Netball Grand Final.
We reflected on season 2020 as a challenging year as we played through the midst of a global pandemic, but season 2021 also dealt its fair share of challenges - not just across the competition but particularly for the GIANTS.
Being the role models that the GIANTS are, our players showed the resilience and strength that it takes to be a successful sporting team in the COVID-19 climate.
After being less than satisfied with our season in 2020, the GIANTS put into action their off-season learnings and started the 2021 campaign with four straight wins, including a win in round two to open Sydney’s new home of netball - Ken Rosewall Arena (KRA) in Sydney Olympic Park.
After a tough trip west that dealt the GIANTS their first loss of the season, the club felt the support of the netballing community worldwide following online trolling experienced by captain Jo Harten.
In round six the GIANTS hosted the first-ever Indigenous All-Stars curtain raiser match – an initiative led by GIANTS Academy Coach Ali Tucker-Munro– with the largest ever netball crowd at KRA set on that same day.
In consecutive weeks of celebration at Ken Rosewall Arena, the GIANTS also recognised Head Coach Julie Fitzgerald as she brought up match 350 as a National League coach.
From round nine onwards the GIANTS played out their season on the road in Victoria, South Australia and Queensland, including a NSW Derby at Netball SA Stadium and two Derby finals at Brisbane’s Nissan Arena.
Whilst reaching the 2021 Grand Final was a notable achievement, two of the GIANTS’ best matches of the season came against the West Coast Fever. The first was in round 14 when the GIANTS played with just eight available players to secure the Minor Premiership, before the GIANTS again impressed in the Preliminary Final against the Fever to book a place in the 2021 Grand Final.
2021 also saw the rise of 19-year-old local star Sophie Dwyer, whose talent, poise and maturity left the netball nation in awe.
Captain Jo Harten yet again showed her strength as a leader, whilst continuing to showcase her talent as one of the world’s premier goalers, as she brought up game 150 and her third HCF Most Valuable Player.
Another two NSW juniors were given their opportunity to play for the GIANTS, with Amy Sligar and Annie Miller both getting a taste for the top level across the season.
For a second consecutive year, the GIANTS were proudly represented by a team made up of predominantly NSW talent, with 10 out of the 11 players having come through the NSW pathway.
While the GIANTS finished as runners up in season 2021, we know that we’re not defined by the final scoreboard. We stand tall with pride and know we’re defined by who are and what we’ve achieved.
It was a journey of a season and we’re proud to call ourselves GIANTS.
2021 GIANTS Netball Playing Roster
Kiera Austin, April Brandley, Sophie Dwyer, Jo Harten MBE (Captain), Maddie Hay, Matisse Letherbarrow*, Kristiana Manu’a (Vice-Captain), Matilda McDonell, Amy Parmenter, Sam Poolman, Jamie-Lee Price
Training Partners: Jemma Donoghue, Ang Frektic, Clare Iongi, Annie Miller, Amy Sligar, Latika Tombs
Head Coach: Julie Fitzgerald
Assistant Coach: Jenny O'Keeffe
Team Manager: Denny Peacock
Physiotherapist: Gemma Vale
Strength & Conditioning: Tom Reddin
Performance Analysis: Kerryn Bruce
High Performance Consultant: Tom Patrick
Dietician: Jessica Spendlove
Team Doctor: Sophie Armstrong
2021 Awards Winners
HCF Most Valuable Player: Jo Harten
Players’ Player of the Year: April Brandley
Members’ Player of the Year: Sophie Dwyer
Club Person of the Year: Kerryn Bruce, Laura Elliott, Denny Peacock, Tom Reddin, Gemma Value
Marj Groves AM Scholarship: Ang Frketic
|Round 1||Sunday 2 May||Thunderbirds (52) v GIANTS (66)||1-0-0|
|Round 2||Saturday 8 May||GIANTS (66) v Collingwood (54)||2-0-0|
|Round 3||Sunday 16 May||GIANTS (67) v Firebirds (60)||3-0-0|
|Round 4||Sunday 23 May||Vixens (54) v GIANTS (68)||4-0-0|
|Round 5||Monday 31 May||Fever (66) v GIANTS (65)||4-1-0|
|Round 6||Sunday 6 June||GIANTS (51) v Swifts (63)||4-2-0|
|Round 7||Saturday 12 June||GIANTS (52) v Lightning (58)||4-3-0|
|Round 8||Sunday 20 June||GIANTS (57) v Thunderbirds (41)||5-3-0|
|Round 9||Sunday 4 July||Firebirds (63) v GIANTS (52)||5-4-0|
|Round 10||Sunday 11 July||Collingwood (49) v GIANTS (58)||6-4-0|
|Round 11||Saturday 17 July||Swifts (51) v GIANTS (54)||7-4-0|
|Round 12||Wednesday 28 July||GIANTS (54) v Vixens (45)||8-4-0|
|Round 13||Tuesday 3 August||Lightning (64) v GIANTS (63)||8-5-0|
|Round 14||Saturday 7 August||Fever (73) v GIANTS (75)||9-5-0|
|SF||Saturday 14 August||GIANTS (61) v Swifts (62)|
|PF||Saturday 21 August||GIANTS (64) v Fever (61)|
|GF||Saturday 28 August||Swifts (63) v GIANTS (59)|
2021 Suncorp Super Netball Placings
|3||West Coast Fever||14||11||0||3||976||835||116.89||32|
|4||Sunshine Coast Lightning||14||8||0||6||825||834||98.92||32|