Steph Blogs Netball

Magpies Erin Bell and Shae Brown announce their netball retirements

Former Australian Diamond Erin Bell and Magpies vice-captain Shae Brown have both announced their retirement from elite netball.

Bell joined the Magpies for the 2018 Suncorp Super Netball season and with a career spanning 15 years of professional netball.

The goal attack first made her debut for the Sydney Swifts in 2005.

Bell was part of three ANZ Championship Premiership teams; one with the New South Wales Swifts in 2008 and two with the Adelaide Thunderbirds in 2010 and 2013.

The 31-year-old captained the Adelaide Thunderbirds in 2016 and 2017 before making the move to the Magpies.

Bell first played for the Australian Diamonds in 2011 and achieved two World Championship gold medals with them in 2011 and 2015.

In a statement released by Collingwood, outgoing head coach Kristy Keppich-Birrell who coached Bell at both the Thunderbirds and Magpies commended her resilience.

“Erin has experienced the extreme highs and lows of our sport and her resilience as a person and an athlete is something I have always personally admired,” said Keppich-Birrell.

Bell said she’s looking forward to her future without netball.

“I’ve been on this amazing journey for 15 years and I’m excited to start a new chapter of my life away from netball,” Bell said.

Her Collingwood teammate Brown made her debut for the Melbourne Kestrels in 2006 before moving to the West Coast Fever in 2008.

Brown played 100 games at the Fever and was named the team’s Players’ Player in 2016.

The 29-year-old said she’s excited to continue pursuing a different passion outside of netball and she believes the time is right for her to move aside for the next group of players.

“I will miss my teammates and my Magpie family, but the time is right for me now to step away and let the next group of young stars shine and take this team forward,” said Brown.

Magpies coach Keppich-Birrell said she’s proud of Brown’s commitment to Collingwood.

“Her success on and off the court can be measured by the influence she has had on the team as a whole. Her commitment to the program and to her teammates is to be admired and celebrated,” said Keppich-Birrell.

With the Collingwood Magpies unable to make finals the duo will take the court one final time this Saturday in Queensland against the Firebirds alongside teammate Sharni Layton who announced her retirement from the sport two weeks ago.

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