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Wallace set for Suncorp Super netball debut
After a gruelling pre-season the time has finally come for the inaugural Suncorp Super Netball League of Australia to begin and what better way to open than with a State derby, with T&T starlet, Samantha Wallace in the spotlight.
The Toco-born Wallace and her New South Wales Swifts, with only four returning players from last season due to the expansion of the competition comes up against Giants Netball from 3.10 am tomorrow morning at Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre, Centre, a venue the T&T standout has played in before.
In the three other matches Melbourne Vixens meet Collingwood Magpies;, Queensland Firebirds entertains Sunshine Coast Lightning, while Adelaide Thunderbirds host West Coast Fever.
This will be the Swifts 21st season now spanning three competitions, the former Australian domestic competition between 1997-2007, the Trans-?Tasman competition between 2008-?2016 and now Suncorp Super Netball.
Robert Wright is back to coach the four-time Australian champions Swifts for a fourth season after guiding the side since 2014 in the former Trans-?Tasman competition.
Wright led the Swifts to second place in 2015 and 2016, losing the Grand Final by one goal in 2015 and two goals in 2016 after extra-time, both against the Firebirds for a record 31 wins, 13 losses and four draws.
In an effort to claim the title, the Swifts imported England international Helen Housby with 30 caps for her country, and Wallace, who has worn the red, white and black uniform 32 times and the two are expected to form a lethal attacking combination based on their exploits, in the Vitality Netball Super League in England, last year.
Wallace was the third highest scorer at Netball World Cup 2015 with 280/324 at 86% and was voted as the “Sky Sports Vitality Netball Super League Player of the Season” during her 2016 stay with the Hertfordshire Mavericks
A member of University of T&T champion netball team as well in her home country, Wallace did most of Maverickss scoring with 438 goals from 491 attempts.
Overall, the T&T, 6ft 4 inches standout led her team to a 10-4 record regular season record before they suffered a nail-biting 53-51 semifinal loss to defending champions Surrey Storm.
Speaking to Guardian Media Sports on the eve of her historic debut in the Australian League, the first by a T&T national she said, “Before I went to England I did not know what to expect and in the end I believed in my game and had tremendous success, but I know coming over to Australia is a much tougher league and a lot more difficult teams. I will play with the same self belief and confidence as I don’t intend to let anything stop me from stepping out on the court and playing with heart and soul to the best of my ability, and represent myself, my family and T&T to the best of my ability.”