Tactix Shooter Ellie Bird to Compete in Australia

30 June 2019

The Good Oil Tactix’ shooter Ellie Bird will head across the ditch to compete in the inaugural Sapphire Series in Queensland.

Bird, who this week has been a part of the All Stars team competing in the Cadbury Netball Series, will join up with the USC Thunder in the 14-round development league in Australia.

The 1.94m shooter, who has already signed with the Tactix for next year’s ANZ Premiership, will join the Thunder immediately where she will team up with Waikato-BOP Magic goal attack Abigail Latu-Meafou.

Tactix chief executive Brigit Hearn said Bird had the blessing of the franchise to compete in the Sapphire Series.

“We see this as a positive for someone like Ellie to extend her season of top-level netball,” she said. “The Thunder is the feeder team for the Sunshine Coast Lightning so Ellie will be training alongside some of the best players in Australia.”

Tactix coach Marianne Delaney-Hoshek said it was an exciting opportunity for Bird who had continued to make great strides at the elite game.

“We saw Ellie take her game to a new level this season and now she has the chance to experience another training environment and carry on getting that tough netball week in and week out,” she said.

“We look forward to seeing how her skills can continue to develop while competing against that tough Australian style, and see what she can bring back to our Tactix camp.”

The Sapphire Series, which involves seven clubs who have alignment with universities across the Queensland state, is a new state-wide league designed to develop netballers and expose them to the high performance environment. The competition has already started and concludes at the end of September.

Hearn said Bird would maintain her connections with both the Tactix and Netball New Zealand Development Squad support services whilst in Australia.

Bird is the second Tactix netballer to play in Australia this season with midcourter Kimiora Poi recruited by the Collingwood Magpies to compete in the remainder of the Suncorp Super Netball League.