01/03/2024

Verity Simmons announces her retirement from netball (Richard Wainwright/AAP PHOTOS)

West Coast Fever midcourter Verity Simmons announced her retirement from professional netball. She played 159 national league games and three tests for the Australian Diamonds.

For Verity Simmons, the goal at five-years-old was to play for Australia and have netball pay the bills. Travelling 10 hours out and back into Grafton to pursue her netball. It wasn’t until she moved out at 15, that her dream became a reality.

Simmons began her professional career in 2012 signing with the Fever, leaving NSW and becoming player 96. She then travelled back east and played for the Queensland Firebirds from 2014, where she played two seasons.

She won a premiership while in her time in Queensland. After returning to Perth in 2016, she was appointed vice-captain for the inaugural season of Suncorp Super Netball in 2017. Simmons was a key player in the Fever’s maiden premiership in 2022.

Debuted for Australia in March 2021, she was as part of the Constellation Cup squad and became Diamond 181.

Physically she can keep on going, but mentally can’t continue with elite level netball. She spoke to the media after announcing her retirement from the sport.

“I’ve made this decision because my heart isn’t in it 100 per cent anymore,” Simmons said.

“At the top level, you need to be all in, at all times. Personally, I think it would be selfish of me to continue my netball journey with West Coast Fever, when there will no doubt be someone else itching to take my place.

“I will miss this great club, this amazing team and the incredible ‘Green Army’ more than I can put into words, but I know this is the right decision.

“I’m looking at it as not retired, more like 11 years not out.”

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Fever head coach Dan Ryan said it was an honour to have Simmons as part of the club.

“No one epitomises team spirit and competitive grit better than our Vez and the legacy she leaves behind in the green dress will help to drive the future of West Coast Fever,” Ryan said.

“Her work ethic was unrivalled and her ability to dig deep in the face of adversity was so inspiring. Those traits were complemented with great humility, infectious positivity and a touch of grace in everything she did. That’s a legacy to be proud of!”

“She’s been an absolute joy to coach and really is everything you want in a professional athlete and teammate. But above all that, as a person, she is just a pleasure to be around, one of a kind and genuinely a champion human being that has inspired us all in many different ways.

“Her coaches love her, her teammates love her and the ‘Green Army’ simply adore her. She will be missed by all of us, but we can all be grateful for the years spent with her and being a part of her action-packed netball journey.

“I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her and, on behalf of the Club and the Green Army, we thank Vez for her dedication to West Coast Fever.”

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