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Surrey Storm’s Karyn Bailey to retire at the end of the 2021 season

Karyn Bailey of Surrey Storm during the Vitality Super League match between Wasps Netball and Surrey Storm at Studio 001, Wakefield, England on 28th February 2021.

After a 16-year professional playing career, Surrey Storm have announced the retirement of Australian international goal shooter Karyn Bailey. Bailey will play her last game of elite-level netball for Storm against Wasps at the Copper Box Arena on 21 June.

The 34-year-old has been a standout goal shooter since she arrived in the Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) in 2018, starring for Saracens Mavericks before signing for Surrey Storm for the 2020 season.

Bailey will end her career on fine form. The former Australian Diamond has netted 456 times in 18 games for Surrey Storm this term with only five players scoring more than the goal shooter.

In the club’s announcement, Storm thanked Bailey ‘for all her efforts with the club and wish her all the best in the next stage of her life’ as well as highlighting her ‘personality, experience and quality’.

Retirement for me has been a long time coming. To be able to leave on my own terms, without staying a minute or season too long is my final victory,” said Bailey.

“Having made the decision to retire at the start of the season and actually sticking to that decision, has been one of the most rewarding and freeing experiences; Allowing me to capture, embrace and enjoy every moment of this season in a different light.

“The decision to retire wasn’t an easy one, after all as an athlete you sacrifice so much for the privilege to represent your club or country. However, my time as an elite netballer has been a rewarding and enriching one, allowing me opportunities many will never experience.”

A successful career starting at the age of 15 has led to some memories Bailey will always carry with her. “There have been many highlights throughout my career however the ones that stand out would be winning the ANZ championship in 2014 with the Melbourne Vixens as well as my selection into the Australian Diamonds,” she said.

Surrey Storm Head Coach Mikki Austin said: “Karyn has been instrumental for the sport of netball for almost a decade across two hemispheres! After coming into the VNSL originally to sign for Scaracens Mavericks, we were excited to sign her in 2019 and have a player of her calibre and experience join Surrey Storm.

“We thank Karyn for all her dedication whilst wearing our colours and wish her nothing but success in this exciting part of her next chapter – Stay classy KB!”

On her future post retirement, Bailey said: “Whilst I step away from the court as a player, netball will always play a pivotal part in my life and as I embark on this new chapter, I will view this moment as starting a new season in the game of life.

“Whilst initially I will enjoy some down time away from the netball court, I’m actually a huge believer in giving back. I have had some amazing coaches throughout my years as a player, who helped shape me as a person and pushed me to be the best player I could be.

“So, whilst I step away from the court as a netball player, I will still be seen on the side-lines as a coach trying to help the next generation of aspiring players.”

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