There was a familiar face at Queensland Firebirds training yesterday with goaler Gretel Bueta returning to train for the first time since giving birth to her son Bobby earlier this year.
Bueta will initially ‘easy back into it’ easing back into it, but she is already making an impact on the team.
While there’s no firm timeline on when Bueta will be back in the purple dress but she said she was working with some of the best at what they do.
“I’ve got a really good team of medical experts around me, that I tap into. They’ve got a plan for me I suppose I have to reach little milestones to check how I’m going and if I’m ticking things off,” Bueta said.
“Slow and steady to start off with, my body has just been through a huge transformation obviously giving birth to my little boy. One step at a time but I’m happy to be back doing what I love.”
“It’s so great to have so many amazing mothers around me. I’ve been texting Laura (Geitz) during the night while we are both up breastfeeding to see how she’s going. I’ve got a great support network.
“They say it takes a village and that’s so true, I’ve got my old team manager Nannette taking care of Bobby as we speak and my parents come up twice a week to look after him while I duck off to train – the support has been incredible.”
While many netball fans will welcome back the Australian Diamond with open arms, Firebirds head coach Megan Anderson said the real challenge was keeping Bueta away from the court.
“It’s so good, she’s been super enthusiastic. We’ve been trying to hold her back a bit but she is super keen to get back and we’re hopeful that she will be back for the first round but there is no pressure on that,” Anderson said.
“She is such a bubbly personality and as soon as she walks into the room everyone gets a smile on their face and I think that is one of the most important things to have that vibe back. Even though she is only doing a small part of training – it’s just good to have her back around the group for sure.”
Looking forward to the season itself Bueta said she is excited to see what the Firebirds can achieve in 2021.
“I think as a team it’s really exciting and we have a new coach and also Kim Ravallion back, another mother that I can tap into her knowledge of how she does it all and organises herself. I think to have those new additions into the team and be back myself, we’re in for a real shot,” she said.
“We’re a young team and following on from how they ended last year finishing in fifth place and beating the Vixens who won the premiership last year. We’re in for a real shot.”