AUGUSTINI JUMPS AT NEW OPPORTUNITY

Tiarne Swersky - August 4, 2017

Magpies Netball is excited to announce its first training partner for 2018, with Victorian midcourter Vanessa Augustini signing on with the club.

The 23-year-old joins Collingwood after playing with the Queensland Fusion in the Australian Netball League (ANL) this past year.

After rising up the junior ranks of Victorian netball – before playing both basketball and netball at a high level – Augustini took some time away from her pursuit of a professional sporting career.

“I was a little bit burnt out, so I needed to take a break and reassess if netball was what I wanted to do,” Augustini told Magpies Netball this week.

“Last year, I decided to come back (and joined the Fusion). That time away made me realise what I wanted, so now I’m on a mission to achieve new heights and make the most of it.

“Being in Queensland – in a different environment – was really good for me, especially with it being my first year back playing at a high level of netball.”

After recently moving back to Melbourne, a lucky break led Augustini to the Magpies.

“I decided to move back home earlier than I’d originally intended, and my coach asked me if I wanted to play a game in the Victorian Netball League (VNL).”

Kristy (Keppich-Birrell) happened to be at that game watching, and the next day, her and Jen McIntyre gave me a call and asked if I wanted to come and look at the Holden Centre.

“I was in shock. I was going to put my name out next year to be looked at as a training partner, so this is just a dream come true. It’s really exciting how this has all happened.”

And it’s an opportunity that Augustini doesn’t take lightly.

“This means everything to me.”

“As a player, I probably could have been at this level a little bit earlier than I am now, but if I didn’t haven’t that time away, I wouldn’t value it like I do now.

“I’m coming back more mature, and more grateful to be playing the sport I love.”

After former training partner Matilda Garrett was promoted to the Magpies’ senior squad in July, Augustini says she’s motivated to make the most of this pathway.

“What Tilly has done is inspiring. The next level is where you want to be, and I want to try and replicate what she has been able to achieve in this environment.”

Magpies Netball coach Kristy Keppich-Birrell said Augustini would be a great addition to the club.

“To see Vanessa back in Victoria with a mindset of giving it everything she has to reach the top level is a huge asset for our program,” Keppich-Birrell said.

“She brings with her a passion for the game and a distinctive flair on the court.

“Her creativity and never give up attitude will be sure to inspire those around her.”

The club will announce further training partner signing in the coming weeks.