Australian Diamonds and Adelaide Thunderbirds captain Natalie von Bertouch has announced her immediate retirement from netball.
Australian Netball Diamonds and Adelaide Thunderbirds captain Natalie von Bertouch has announced her immediate retirement from the sport.
The news comes just three days after von Bertouch captained the Thunderbirds to their historic grand final win against the Queensland Firebirds.
The 30-year-old said she wanted to finish her netball career on a high.
“I’m announcing my retirement which I’m happy about, which you wouldn’t know from my tears, but I guess I just have decided that I’ve got very exciting things to come in my future and what a better way to go out than winning a grand final with these beautiful girls,” von Bertouch told a news conference.
Injuries have troubled the midcourter and finalised her decision to leave.
“I’ve made this decision because I could no longer contribute to the team in the way that I wanted after injuries have limited my court time,” von Bertouch said.
Von Bertouch had thought long and hard about her retirement and knew it was time to leave.
“I started thinking about it at the start of the season and throughout the season I had made my decision so no matter what happened in that game I knew it was going to be my last,” von Bertouch said.
Thunderbirds coach Jane Woodlands-Thompson said that she had a feeling about von Bertouch’s retirement, but kept it quiet.
“When people say the word Thunderbirds, one of the first thing that comes to mind is a vision of Nat von Bertouch,” Woodlands-Thompson said.
“I guess I was in denial, I didn’t want to discuss it with Nat, and when she told the girls it just feels like a piece of us is missing now.”
“She’s leaving as a national captain and a double premiership captain. It just doesn’t get any better and I applaud her for going out on her terms.”
“We’re that proud of her, she’s been a sensational captain, I’ve loved working with her, I’ll miss her terribly.”
Recently engaged, von Bertouch’s immediate future includes working, getting married, and travelling.
Written by Airlie Rehmann