QUEENSLAND Champions Cup premiership hopefuls Brisbane West Lions have snagged a secret weapon for season 2013 in the form of ex-Silver Fern and Southern Steel defender Sheryl Scanlan.
The 35-year-old Auckland native announced her retirement from the sport in June after rupturing a tendon in her left foot during the Steel’s 2012 ANZ Championship campaign.
Scanlan said the end of her playing career opened up the opportunity for her family to relocate to Queensland.
“My father-in-law lives in Brisbane so when I decided to retire from netball we thought we’d come over and give it a go,” she said.
“I was looking for a job and took a call from a contact at Western Districts Netball Association who had heard I was living in the area.”
The suburb of Durack, in Brisbane’s south-west, is a far cry from Invercargill in New Zealand where Scanlan, husband Malcolm and son Jafeth, 6, have called home for the past four years.
After accepting a part-time administration role with WDNA, and initially attending a couple of mid-week Brisbane West Regional Academy training sessions, Scanlan was recruited as Lions assistant coach.
“They offered me the opportunity to be involved with coaching their QCC players and it’s really exciting,” Scanlan said.
“I’d heard some fantastic things about their coach (Linda Peterson) and her ability so I’m really looking forward to putting on my coaching hat and learning from Linda and the girls.”
Scanlan debuted for the Silver Ferns in 1998 and went on to play 61 Tests between 2000 and 2009 including a gold medal victory at the 2003 world championships in Jamaica.
Brisbane West Lions manager Lynda Simpson said she is excited to have a Kiwi in their Lions camp, laughing at the thought of potential poaching from rival teams.
“The word which sums Sheryl up is humble, she’s just a beautiful person,” she said.
“Sheryl brings so much to the table and is just a wealth of knowledge so we’re definitely not letting her go.”
The Queensland Champions Cup is the premier netball competition in Queensland and runs from February through to July with matches taking place in Brisbane, Golden South, Suncoast and Magnetic North.