Diamonds and Thunderbirds Captain Natalie von Bertouch announces retirement

Lana Wilson / July 19, 2013 04:35 PM

Who’s Who of Australia and Who’s Who of Australian Women entrant Natalie von Bertouch has this week announced her retirement from professional netball.

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Natalie von Bertouch in action for the Australian Diamonds
Photo: Adelaide Thunderbirds

The Test Captain of both the national Australian Diamonds Netball team and the Adelaide Thunderbirds, Natalie von Bertouch has farewelled her successful netball career, following a series of foot and finger injuries.

“I’ve made this decision because I could no longer contribute to the team in the way that I wanted after injuries have limited my court time,” she said.

“Obviously it’s going to be a huge change for me because netball is everything I’ve known since I was nine.”

Born in 1982, the now 30-year-old Natalie von Bertouch debuted in the popular sport in 2001, where she played for the Thunderbirds, while also pursuing other playing opportunities at a national level.

After playing in junior competitions, the talented Centre player moved up to Vice-Captain in 2008 and later, after fellow star player Sharelle McMahon pulled out of the national team, became Captain of the Australian Diamonds Netball Team in 2011.

In these two roles, von Bertouch’s strengths as a player flourished and her talents as a leader were reflected in many successful tournament results, winning a string of Gold and Silver medals at World Netball Championships, Commonwealth Games and trans-Tasman league titles between 2006 and her retirement this year.

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Natalie von Bertouch has won a string of Gold, Silver medals and Tournaments
Photo: Adelaide Thunderbirds

Australian Diamonds Coach and fellow Who’s Who of Australian Women entrant Lisa Alexander said von Bertouch played her best games this year and noted her decision to retire is well scripted in conjunction with the success.

“She will go down as one of the best players this country has ever produced,” she told The Herald Sun.

Similarly, Adelaide Thunderbirds’ Coach Jane Woodlands-Thompson also praised the strong mid-court player for “going out on her own terms”.

“She’s been a sensational captain.”

Aside from formal wins both internationally and nationally, von Bertouch has also been lauded with several awards, including Best and Fairest Player in the SA Farmer’s Union League.

Of her future, The Age reported von Bertouch contends she is looking forward to pursuing other opportunities outside of the sport.

“I’ve got exciting things happening out of netball,” she said.

“I’ve achieved what I wanted to achieve, and I guess everything kind of fell into place.”

Who’s Who congratulates Natalie von Bertouch on a successful professional netball career and thanks her for her contribution in the sport.

Sources: Who’s Who, Fairfax, News Limited

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