Maddy GordonANZ Premiership

Maddy Gordon: A Silver Ferns Debut

Maddy Gordon in action for the Central Pulse.
Credit: Andrew Cornaga

In a special moment for the Central Pulse star, Maddy Gordon took to the court earlier this year to make her debut for Aotearoa as Silver Fern #177.

The Netball Post sat down with Maddy Gordon after the 2021 Cadbury series to discuss her Silver Ferns debut, what this first time in the black dress has meant and how she’s feeling about the Central Pulse heading into 2022.

Silver Ferns

The 2021 Cadbury series was a very special one for Central Pulse’s Maddy Gordon.

“It was the first time and I got a fair bit of court time for the Ferns. It was really exciting being back in the centre position, I loved being back in the attacking end. There were times that I showed how I could play in the black dress, hopefully putting my hand up for a few more selections.”

Nerves would be understandable on an international stage like this, but they quickly melted away once she ran onto the court.

She said of her debut “I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be, before the game I was but once I got on the court it was so enjoyable, I loved it!”

After this first call up, Gordon is hungry for more opportunities on the international stage- and wants to demonstrate some solid form as often as possible. In order to continue being selected, Maddy believes that she will need to “play a lot of consistent games. Noeline and Debbie love consistency.”

Having good injury resilience will no doubt help too. Throughout her career so far, Maddy has not suffered any major injuries and is able to put it down to not over-training, warming up properly and warming down after every game and training session. She is unsure how she has managed to do so.

“I’m on the ground a lot so you’d think that I would be injured after every game. But I do put in the work in the gym, I am strong enough for my body to do what it needs to do on the court.” 

Many people have recognised Maddy as a player with her own distinct, individual style. She credits this to a few key qualities.

“I would say that one of my strengths is my speed and I have a never give up mentality, I will go for anything, I will hustle for anything. Even when we are being, I am a person who believes we can at least close the gap or win.”

She wants her legacy as a netballer to be someone who plays with their own style and plays in a way that is different to those who went before her. 

Success With The Central Pulse

The Central Pulse have had two very successful years in 2019 and 2020 – Maddy reflected on what these meant to her and how they have impacted her career. She’s come a long way since those first few minutes of game time in 2019.

“In 2019 I was in the Pulse team but I was that little girl who would get three minutes at the end of each game but I learnt so much from that year. Learning off Claire, Whitney and Karin was unreal.”

Those lessons were quickly put into practice the following year, and having such formidable mentors around her paid off in a big way.

“In 2020 I was starting for the first time. I hadn’t played wing attack before, I was more of a centre/wing defence, I was freaking out but they had so much belief in me as I went into the season. I went out there and did not overthink it, I played at my best not thinking about it but I couldn’t have done it without the people around me.”

“Those years we had the best team culture and it came from the top, Yvette and the leaders. Those two years were so much fun. 

Despite two strong years, judging her 2021 season against her own standards, she felt as though she did not play as well as she knew she could have.

Maddy spent most of the 2021 ANZ Premiership season in WD for the Pulse, which at this level was very unfamiliar to her. She spent the season mastering her skills in the new position and is confident the lessons she’s learnt can only help her grow as a player. In the meantime, she’s enjoyed the challenge of playing a new position at the top level.

Looking to the future, Maddy has a good deal of excitement for the two new Australian players joining Central Pulse next season. She looks forward to seeing them make their mark in the team and can’t wait to work with both Kristiana Manu’a and Binnian Hunt.

“They will bring something different. Being exposed to the SSN, they will be able to bring that style of play over to the Pulse.” 

With new team mates and some valuable international experience, Maddy is looking forward to the 2022 season.

“I am really excited for it to all kick off again. I am excited to meet new people, grow connections with new people, I can’t wait to see everyone working hard and putting out some good netball.”

The Resident TikTok Queen

With such a busy netball schedule, a professional athlete like Maddy Gordon sometimes needs to make sacrifices- but she still enjoys hanging out with her friends and going out for coffee whenever possible. Maddy even has time to make the occasional TikTok.

Before all games, whether it be for the Pulse or the Silver Ferns, Maddy makes a TikTok and it has now become her pre-game tradition. She tries to get all of her teammates involved and mentioned that Karin Burger really enjoys making them with Maddy on her trips to Wellington and when with the Silver Ferns. Maddy would like to make one thing very clear:

“Karin Burger is the real TikTok Queen!” 

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