Adelaide Thunderbirds’ legend Renae Ingles has announced her retirement from netball and will play her last game for the Adelaide Thunderbirds in front of a home crowd in the final round of Suncorp Super Netball this Sunday.
Renowned as one of the world’s leading wing defenders, Ingles joined the Adelaide Thunderbirds in 2012, looking to reinvigorate her netball career. She quickly became a key member of the club, playing a critical role at wing defence in the 2013 premiership and led the team as captain in 2014 and 2015. Ingles was awarded the Tanya Denver Medal in 2014 and 2015 and has established herself as a highly-respected teammate and strong fan favourite.
The 30-year-old made her international debut in September 2009 and has gone on to play in 67 tests for the Australian Netball Diamonds. In 2013, she was awarded the Liz Ellis Diamond, Australian netball’s highest accolade, following an outstanding year where she played a key role in the Adelaide Thunderbirds’ 2013 title and the Diamonds’ Constellation Cup victory. Ingles was also an instrumental part in Australia winning gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the 2015 Netball World Cup in Sydney.
Ingles’ returned to the Adelaide Thunderbirds as a training partner part-way through this season following the birth of her twins, Milla and Jacob, in July last year. She quickly worked her way back into the starting seven, impressing coaches with her commitment to training and team-first attitude.
Ingles is the sixth most-experienced current national league athlete, with 160 appearances at this level and is a triple-premiership player, winning the title with the Melbourne Phoenix (2004), Melbourne Vixens (2009) and Adelaide Thunderbirds (2013). This weekend will be her 64th appearance for the Adelaide Thunderbirds.
For Ingles, the decision to retire has been one of the hardest she’s ever had to make. However, with husband, basketballer Joe Ingles, likely to be return to the NBA later this year, she has made the decision to put her family first.
“It has been extremely tough; your heart tells you one thing but your brain is saying another,” said Ingles.
“The Adelaide Thunderbirds have gone to every length imaginable to make it possible for me to play, but in the end, I need to think of my family. I am an ‘all in or all out’ kind of person, and I know I am not able to commit the way I need to and the way my teammates need me to.”
“Ever since I came to the Adelaide Thunderbirds, the fans have really embraced me and made me feel at home. I can’t wait to get out there one last time with my team mates in front of the Pink Army and say thank you for all of their support over the years.”
It has been a long road back to Suncorp Super Netball since having her twins last year, but Ingles is proud of her journey.
“When I found out I was having twins, I didn’t know if I would ever play again. I know a lot of mums will understand what that is like. I am so proud of everything I have been able to do to get back here this year and I’m looking forward to celebrating everything I have been able to achieve in my career, from the beginning right up until this weekend.”
Head coach Dan Ryan joined the Adelaide Thunderbirds the same year as Renae Ingles and says her legacy at the club is something she should be proud of.
“Renae is the most professional and driven athlete I’ve ever had the privilege to work with and will retire as one of the most respected and admired individuals in our sport and one of the game’s great wing defenders,” said Ryan.
“Over the years, we have both developed an incredible passion for this club and words will never do justice to what she brought to our club in all areas. It’s hard to imagine the Adelaide Thunderbirds without her.”
“Watching her come back this year after the birth of her twins and the sacrifices she has made has been so inspiring. It’s been a godsend having her back in our environment. It’s going to be an absolute honour to be by her side in her final game; she deserves the fairy tale send off.”
Tickets are still available for the Thunderbirds’ clash against Collingwood on Sunday at 12.30pm at Titanium Security Arena. Come down to celebrate Indigenous Round presented by Mazda and don’t miss the last chance to see Renae Ingles in action. To purchase tickets visit Ticketmaster.
Test Caps: 67 (14th most experienced Australian player of all-time, out of 171 representatives)
Test debut: 6 September 2009 v New Zealand, Sydney, AUS
Australian Squad: 2008-1
Australian Team: 2009-10; 2012-15
Australian Fast5 Team: 2009
2009 Australian International Player of the Year
2009 Fast5 Netball World Series Bronze Medal
2013 Australian International Player of the Year
2013 Liz Ellis Diamond Winner
2010 Commonwealth Games Silver Medal,
2014 Commonwealth Games Gold Medal
2015 Netball World Cup Gold Medal
National League Representation
Total National League Caps: 160 (2004 – Round 13, 2017)
National League Achievements
2004 Runners Up (Phoenix)
2005 Premiership (Phoenix)
2007 Runners Up (Phoenix)
2009 Premiership (Vixens)
2009 Melbourne Vixens Coaches’ Award
2013 Tanya Denver Award Winner (Thunderbirds)
2013 Premiership (Thunderbirds)
2013 ANZ Championship All Star Team (WD)
2014 Thunderbirds Members Player of the Year
2014 ANZ Championship All Star Team (WD)
2014 Tanya Denver Award Winner (Thunderbirds)