Collingwood have pounced on Australian Diamond and former NSW Swift Sophie Garbin, signalling their intent to climb back into the Super Netball title race after missing finals last season.
The signing of Garbin was met with surprise from some in netball circles with the 24-year-old West Australian so well established in NSW where she has risen into the Australian Diamonds squad after playing in two premierships in her four years with the Swifts.
Sophie Garbin has put pen to paper with the Magpies.Credit:Getty Images
In a hectic period of putting names to paper, Collingwood also re-signed six core players to two-year deals, including captain Geva Mentor and mid-courter Ash Brazill.
The Magpies announced the signing of two-time Super Netball title winner Garbin on Friday night before following on Saturday with news about Mentor, Brazill, Kelsey Browne, Jodi-Ann Ward, Shimona Nelson and Molly Jovic had all inked two-year deals to stay with the club.
Gabrielle Sinclair, Jacqui Newton and recent training partner Maggie Lind have signed one-year deals to remain with coach Nicole Richardson’s side.
The moves show the Magpies believe in the core of their side despite the team missing finals the past two seasons.
The retention of Mentor will see the English defender play into her 15th year in the Australian competition with over 200 games already under her belt.
“We are delighted to have finalised our squad for 2022,” Richardson said.
“Each player has played a key role in establishing a solid foundation for this club and their signatures today not only provide great stability but also demonstrates their commitment and belief in our program.
“With multiple players committing for two years, we are pleased to secure the future of our club and they will all play crucial roles in ensuring we are best positioned to achieve success in 2022 and beyond.”
Garbin shot 152 goals at 88 per cent as the Swifts won this year’s premiership and is training with the Diamonds in Brisbane ahead of next month’s series against the England Roses in Perth.
Richardson said she looked forward to having Garbin and Lind in the team.
“We’re so excited both for Sophie and Maggie,” Richardson said.
“It’s been fantastic to see Soph’s confidence grow over the last few seasons and we think she’ll be a really strong asset for us under the ring. With the success she’s had with the Swifts and the Diamonds, we can’t wait to see her rise to this new opportunity.
“Maggie’s call up is a huge credit to her constant effort and commitment. We’re looking forward to seeing where she can take her game at the next level.”
The Magpies won’t offer new contracts to Melissa Bragg and Kalifa McCollin.
Melbourne Vixens have added a shooter to their list signing local product Rahni Samason for next season after her impressive display as an injury replacement in three games for the club in 2021.
The 23-year-old has been star at Victorian Netball League level and won the MVP award for second-tier side Victoria Fury in 2018 but hasn’t scored a full senior contract until now.
Samason scored the match-winning super-shot against Queensland Firebirds in round five this season which also boosted her profile around the competition.
Rahni Samason has scored a spot on the Vixens list.Credit:Getty Images
She joins veteran stars Kate Moloney, Liz Watson, Jo Weston and Emily Mannix on the Vixens list for next season.
“It’s such an honour and I’m really excited to officially join the Vixens next season,” Samason said.
“I’ve been a part of the Vixens environment for a few years now as a squad member, and travelling with the team this year, so I know the club’s values are aligned to the culture I want to be a part of, so I’m thrilled to be a part of that next year.
“I’ve taken away a lot of learnings from my time, particularly this year being able to work with Simone [McKinnis] and the team so closely. I know that we’re onto something pretty special in this next stage and I’m really excited to play my role in that.”
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