Forget 27 dresses, try on 40 for Fellowes

DemelzaQueensland Fusion defender Demelza Fellowes certainly has a full closest.

Apart from her normal wardrobe, the experienced defender has kept a dress from every netball team she’s played with over her 20-year career that began at the age of 14 playing in the Brisbane Netball Association for Albany Creek Excelsior.

Her collection is now up to 40 dresses – and is a mix of club, association, state and international uniforms.

“I keep one dress from every team because every group that you play with has a little touch of magic,” Fellowes said.

“I look at the dresses and recall the best times, the good wins, the tough losses and the off court memories that make belonging to a sport like ours so special.”

While her career has taken her to multiple teams across Australia – and also New Zealand – there’s one dress that is extra special to Fellowes.

“My 2011 Matrics premiership dress from the South Australian Premier League is my most treasured because it is my only premiership one out of the 13 grand finals I have played in,” Fellowes said.

“I was playing against Carla Borrego from the (Adelaide) Thunderbirds and it was my 10th year being with Matrics and my fourth crack at a premiership with them.

“It is also the team where I played with five of my best friends in the whole wide world.”

BurtonPhotography-9495This weekend Fellowes is hoping that her Queensland Fusion dress can sit alongside that Matrics uniform as a title-winning outfit when they head to Melbourne for the Australian Netball League Finals series.

The Fusion take on Western Sting in today’s Semi Finals for a spot in Sunday’s season decider against either Victorian Fury or Netball NSW Waratahs.

Fellowes may have just turned 34 and played in Grand Finals at national level in the past, but she’s excited about helping the Fusion try to claim their first ANL title over the weekend at the Waverley Netball Centre.

“We’ve got an awesome group of young talent and old heads who are so proud to represent Queensland and when we put it all together, or ‘fuse’ it as we say, we know we can do anything,” Fellowes said.

“Let’s hope for a strong weekend and even an ANL premiership title and another memorable dress to add to my collection.”

Fellowes, who is returning to New Zealand next year to play for the Christchurch-based Tactix in 2015, has a special plan to use all her dresses to commemorate her career once it’s done and dusted.

“I plan to cut a patch off all of them and either put them in a frame with a plaque of the team or make them into a patchwork quilt,” Fellowes said.

“Netball has also impacted my life in such a major way that, when I’m old and grey and even when I’m gone, I would like to make sure something tangible is left behind as a token for others to remember `she was a netballer and netball was a big part of her life’.

“I don’t want the memories to die with me and I would like to hope that if any of the next generation in my family want to pursue netball, there is something that they can have that carries a reminder of my career.”

Click here for more information about today’s ANL Semi Finals.