Fawns permanent Swift
Dream comes true: Fawns named permanent replacement for Wallace.Sophie Fawns has made her dream a reality by today being named as a Permanent Replacement Player for the NSW Swifts’ 2022 Suncorp Super Netball title defence.
The 18-year-old from Wagga Wagga has been part of the Swifts’ team for the opening four rounds of the seasons, once as COVID cover (Round 1) and three times since the Premiers lost two-time Premiership winner Sam Wallace to a season-ending ACL injury.
The young attacker has subsequently played a starring role in recent weeks, forming a potent partnership with Club stalwart Helen Housby.
A product of the QBE Swifts Academy and the Netball NSW Premier League, Fawns follows in the footsteps of former champion Swifts such as Susan Pettitt and fellow Wagga native Jackie Byrne as regional NSW athletes to shine for the Club.
Head coach Briony Akle said Fawns had made the most of the opportunity presented to her and was highly deserving of the promotion.
“We knew when Sam went down that we couldn’t replace like with like because there is only one Sam Wallace and you can’t replicate what she brings to a court,” Akle said.
“It meant we’ve had to adjust how we play and Sophie has brought her own style and approach which really adds something new to our attack.She is a great kid who’s proven if you’re good enough, you’re old enough. The past two week she’s gone toe-to-toe with international standard defenders and more than held her own.”
“She plays with a smile on her face and loves every moment she’s on court… I think she reminds us all of how lucky we are to do this for a living because Sophie is out there making her own dream come true… her enthusiasm is just infectious.
“She’s come through a tough time of late but her family, friends – especially everyone down in Wagga – and coaches and teammates she’d had at all levels of the game should be immensely proud.
“Sophie was due to play Nationals with the NSW 19/U team in Tasmania next week but I think it’s a testament to the Netball NSW pathway that she’s been able to step-up and fit in at Super Netball level seamlessly.
“Elite sport isn’t always highs, there will be hard days on court too, but we know Sophie has what it takes and a now we want to take her to the next level.”
For Fawns it’s another brilliant development after a whirlwind few weeks.
“I grew up supporting this Club and to become a capped Swift a few weeks ago was a moment I will cherish forever, but this is next level,” she said.
“I just love playing netball and the support I’ve had from Briony, my teammates – especially Helen, Sam and Kelly (Singleton) – has made me feel really at home. I hope this shows all regional netballers that there are many ways to get to the Swifts and all those days spent travelling up and down the highway are worth it.”
“Like Briony said, there will be ups and downs, but I want to keep developing and learning from whatever comes my way. I could never have done with this without the love and support of my family who’ve backed me every step of the way.”