Manly Warringah has produced a host of elite sports men and women and the peninsula’s netball stocks are among the codes’ finest.
It was the Curl Curl Netball courts where Mo’onia Gerrard first started playing netball for Narrabeen Youth Club at the tender age of 12.
Some of Mo’onia’s most precious netball memories are of her days playing netball for Narrabeen – the team to beat for many years!
Her representative honours came early, with Mo’onia selected to represent the Manly Warringah district. By 1995 Mo’onia was captain of the U15s Manly side who were victorious at the State Age Netball Championships. It was to be, and still is, one of the highlights of Mo’onia’s career.
But there was bigger and better things to come on the representative front, with the athletic youngster selected to represent New South Wales in the 17&Under team to contest the National Championships. Mo’onia continued to catch the eye of selectors, earning a spot in the Australian talent squad.
Her run continued for the Waratahs successfully through the age groups, earning selection in the 19&Under, 21&Under and Open NSW Netball teams between 1996 and 2004, resulting in a string of Australian berths.
At just 17 years of age in 1998, Mo’onia was called into the Sydney Swifts roster for the second season of the National Netball League, playing in the Commonwealth Bank Trophy. That same year she earned selection in the Australian 21&Under Netball team under now Head National Coach, Norma Plummer.
Chasing court time and exposure to the senior ranks, Mo’onia crossed town to join the Sydney Sandpipers in 1999. She had an immediate impact and her form didn’t go unnoticed by national selectors, rewarded with a coveted spot in the 2000 World Youth Cup team. Playing at goal defence the Australian 21&Under Netball team blazed through the competition without dropping a match, defeating a talented Jamaican outfit in the Grand Final to take home the Cup!
Back on the domestic front, Mo’onia continued to play for the Sydney Sandpipers. Her run there lasted five decorated seasons where she was arguably the team’s most consistent performer. But the “vision” of Netball NSW to take a team to the Hunter meant the Sandpipers franchise was brought to a premature end and with that Mo’onia rejoined the Sydney Swifts in 2004.
It was to be a good move for Gerrard, still astonishingly yet to have been selected for the Australian Open team – earning her first cap that very same year with a debut match in South Africa. Here she joined forces with Australian Captain and Goal Keeper, Liz Ellis and super star Wing Defence, Selina Gilsenan to form the most potent defensive combination in the League.
Not surprisingly, the Swifts recorded back-to-back Commonwealth Bank Trophy titles in 2006 and 2007.
Her golden run continued in 2007 with Mo’onia part of the victorious World Cup-winning Australian Netball team.
With the emergence of the Trans Tasman Netball League in season 2008, Gerrard was chasing fresh challenges and she became the star-signing for the strong-performing Adelaide Thunderbirds.
In 2009, the Thunderbirds earned their first Trans Tasman Grand Final berth. With Gerrard under an injury cloud for the majority of the season it wasn’t too be for the South Aussies, going down to a slick Melbourne Vixens unit in the big one.
Gerrard returns to Adelaide for “unfinished business” more determined than ever to make season 2010 her own.
And with the Commonwealth Games looming large, Mo’onia has a full schedule planned for the Australian Netball Diamond’s pursuit of gold, so you’ll certainly be seeing plenty of Mo’onia on court very soon!
Mo'onia Gerrard's Footsteps
|Narrabeen Primary School Netball Team||1992|
|Narrabenn Youth Club||1992|
|Regionals - Metropoliton North||1992-1995|
|NSW Primary School Sports Association||1992|
|NSW Institute of Sports||1995-1999|
|NSW Combined High School||1997-1998|
|NSW State U17's||1996-1997|
|NSW State U19's||1998-1999|
|NSW State U21's||1999-2000|
|NSW State Opens||2000-2005|
|Australian Diamonds Squad||
|Australian Diamonds Team||