Collingwood and Australian defender April Brandley will step away from netball in 2020 to become a mother.
Collingwood and Australian defender April Brandley will step away from netball in 2020 – but it’s good news.
The 29-year-old will be taking time out to become a mother for the first time.
Brandley took the court in the minor semi-final against the Vixens last Sunday 16 weeks along, with baby Brandley due to arrive in February next year.
The defender was closely monitored by medical staff throughout the season to ensure she was physically fit to take the court.
Brandley was a foundation Collingwood player – one of four with the team in 2019 - having joined the Magpies in 2017 after two seasons with West Coast Fever.
The impending birth pauses a stellar netball career.
In 2013 Brandley made her international debut as an Australian Diamond in the English International Series. Since then she has represented Australia in the 2017 Constellation Cup and Quad series, the 2018 Quad Series and the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
This year Brandley played a complete Suncorp Super Netball season and was a member of the Diamonds World Cup team that claimed silver honours in Liverpool. Brandley has 34 test caps to date and is renowned as one of the elite defenders of the netball world.
“I cannot thank the club enough for the past three years,” Brandley said.
“This year especially has been so rewarding and I will miss being a part of what they are beginning to create here at the Pies.
“However, looking ahead to next year, I’m excited to put my netball career on hold and focus my energy on becoming a mum.
When or if I will return to netball is uncertain at this time, motherhood may get the better of me!”
GM of Women’s Sport at Collingwood, Jane Woodlands-Thompson, congratulated Brandley on her news.
“We are thrilled for April as she embarks on the next chapter of her life,” Woodlands-Thompson said.
“As a foundation player, April has played a key part in the Magpies’ journey and we thank her for the impact she has had on the club and the game at large.
“We wish her and her husband Jason all the best for their future endeavours."