Sydney University Waratah Cup team member Mo’onia Gerrard will notch up her 50th Test cap when Australia takes on Samoa on the opening day of the 2011 World Netball Championships in Singapore on Monday.
With the Australian Diamonds kicking off their world championship title defence, the 30-year old defender needs to take to the court just once more to record a half century of Test appearances for the green and gold.
For Gerrard, the dream was never to play for the Diamonds as she was talented at a range of sports, including touch football, surf lifesaving and athletics growing up on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
“I didn’t even think I would get one Test cap because I didn’t really aspire to play for the Australian Diamonds but when I got the opportunity I totally wanted to take it on board and play more,” Gerrard said.
“Whether it’s 50 caps or 10 caps, it’s a big deal for me so it’s pretty surprising.”
After making her Test debut on the Diamonds’ Tour of South Africa in 2004, Gerrard has established herself as one of the world’s most ferociously athletic defenders.
Known for her great agility, speed, strength and outstanding one-on-one defence and at just 180cm, the defender has proven she’s capable of challenging even the tallest of opposition shooters.
Not one to celebrate the achievement, Gerrard believes it’s the memories that’s most important not the numbers.
“I’m not really one for milestones, it’s the moments that you cherish the most leading up to a campaign like this and the memories,” she said.
“They’re the ones you can’t replace so a Cap is just a number for me.”
Having never lost an opening match at a World Championships, including four years ago to the same opponent, the Diamonds will be determined to maintain that perfect record against Samoa at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Large parts of this article are courtesy of Netball NSW and Netball Australia.