Highly decorated netballer Sharni Layton has today made the decision to retire from club and international netball at the end of the 2018 Suncorp Super Netball season.
The 30-year-old debuted for the Samsung Australian Diamonds in 2010 and didn’t have to wait long to taste success in the green and gold as a member of the 2011 World Championship winning team in Singapore.
The Magpies Netball defender, Layton said after discussing her future with family and close friends, she knew this season would be her last year of playing netball.
“After 14 years of learning, travelling and competing in the game I love most, I’ve made the decision to take off the bib and call time on my netball career.
“I’ve been on this incredible ride since 2004. I’ve moved 12 times over 10 years to pursue this dream of mine, and I owe everything to this sport and all that it’s given me over the journey.
“It’s never an easy decision to make, but I have been so lucky to have represented my country; to play in over 100 domestic games, to be a foundation member of the Collingwood netball program, to travel the world and to build and cherish relationships with all of my teammates, coaches, staff and the amazing supporters all around the world.
“I’ve given absolutely everything I have to this game, to my teammates and to myself as an athlete, and it’s time to hand the baton over to the next generation of stars,” Layton said.
A fierce defender, Layton appeared for the Diamonds on 46 occasions and added a Commonwealth Games gold medal in 2014 and a second World Cup title on home soil in 2015 to her long list of playing accolades.
Diamonds head coach Lisa Alexander said Layton always gave her all when representing the national team.
“She had a real presence on the netball court and her opponents knew they were in for a battle until the final whistle.
“Sharni took no shortcuts, she worked hard and always put the team first. She was a winner and led by example. Every play mattered, whether in training or a game.
“Her passion and love for netball came through in spades, that enjoyment and attitude rubbed off on the players and coaches and, helped create the bond and the ‘sisters in arms’ mentally we have developed as a group.
“The contribution she has made to the Diamonds and Australian netball has been incredible and, I have no doubt that whatever Sharni puts her mind to post her playing career, she will be successful,” Alexander said.
One of Australia’s most reliable players, Layton’s domestic career included premierships in 2010 and 2013 at the Adelaide Thunderbirds, followed by runner-up medals with the NSW Swifts in 2015 and 2016 seasons. During the 2015 finals series, Layton was named the league’s most valuable player.
With the formation of Suncorp Super Netball in 2017, Layton was one of several high-profile signings for Magpies Netball and, after a career spanning 14 years has called an end to her playing days.
– Age: 30
– Height: 188cm
– World Cup winner – Singapore 2011, Sydney 2015
– Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist – Glasgow 2014
– ANZ Championship winner -2010, 2013 (Adelaide Thunderbirds)
– ANZ Championship Finals Series MVP – 2015 (NSW Swifts)
– Diamonds debut – 2010
– Diamonds caps – 46
– Best Young Player Award in 2010
– International Player of the Year – 2016, 2017