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Gia Abernethy of Strathclyde Sirens.

Abernethy taking on Celtic Dragons for Strathclyde Sirens. Source | Jamie Williamson. Photograph © Jamie Williamson jamiewilliamson.com @jwilliamsonpix Like me on Facebook @jwilliamsonpix +44 (0) 7989 437787 williamsonphotos@mac.com

Strathclyde Sirens captain Gia Abernethy has made the decision to retire from elite netball, the club have announced.

Abernethy had spent four seasons in Scotland and has led the team as captain since her appointment in 2020, becoming the first non-Scottish captain of the club.

“Physically and mentally I’m not sure I have a whole other season in me. While it has been a fantastic four years as a Siren, I know to be part of this special franchise I need to be able to give 100% of myself and if I’m not able to commit 100% to the team then that just wouldn’t sit right with me,” she said.

The Australian moved to the UK in 2018 having been scouted by then Head Coach Gail Parata during her time as a training partner with Adelaide Thunderbirds.

Abernethy was then invited to represent Sirens in a Super Cup tournament in Nelson, New Zealand, before Parata made the deal permeant a few weeks later.

Since then, Abernethy has been instrumental in the club’s improving fortunes and – in 2021 – guided the Scottish outfit to their best-ever league finish of sixth with 32 points.

Karen Atkinson, Director of Netball at Strathclyde Sirens said: “She has had such an impact on the environment, the culture & the training ethic. I have been in many teams as a player and a coach and she is by far one of the best leaders I have had the pleasure to work with. She is extremely selfless and puts the team first.”

Sirens Head Coach, Lesley MacDonald, added: “Gia is one of the best individuals I have had the pleasure of coaching and has been a truly inspiring leader. She will leave and an amazing legacy here at Strathclyde Sirens.”

Abernethy was in the squad for all 40 rounds over the last two seasons and continued her impressive form right until the end of her career. The 28-year-old mid-courter provided 413 feeds last season with only Hannah Joseph of Loughborough Lightning contributing more.

Netball Scotland CEO, Claire Nelson, said: “The team that we have today, I firmly believe, has been shaped and influenced by Gia Abernethy.

“What she brought to this club in terms of work ethic, spirit, drive and fight but doing it with a warm heart and an ability to empower and inspire those around her is going to be a loss to this club but I am so happy that she is following her heart and doing what makes her happy.”

In a club statement announcing her retirement, it stated that Abernethy would ‘always have a special place in our history’.

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