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Silver Ferns newcomer making all the right moves

Always on the go, young midcourt pocket rocket Maddy Gordon has the knack of making things happen on and off the netball court, and usually in quick smart fashion.

That was all too evident when the 20-year-old rookie, in the infancy of her career, announced her rapid rise when named the only newcomer in the 2020/21 Silver Ferns Squad.

Electric on the court with her speed, movement and all-round ability on defence and attack, the last 24 months has been all upward momentum for the 1.74m bundle of energy.

“It’s obviously been a dream of mine but this is unreal and I’m pretty much speechless,” she said.

“This has definitely come a lot quicker than I ever expected.”

Normally a wing defence/centre and with just a handful of minutes under her belt at wing attack in her first season with the Pulse in 2019, Gordon was thrust into the pivot’s role fulltime in 2020. The result has been nothing short of highly impressive.

“It was quite a big move when I found out at the start and I was a bit shocked but I was happy to take on the challenge, she said.

“But, I couldn’t have done it without the players I’ve had a round me and the coaching staff. They’ve all been really supportive.”

By season’s end, Gordon was enjoying the best 48 hours of her life after helping steer the Pulse to back-to-back ANZ Premiership titles, in the process scooping the Grand Final MVP award and then being named in the Silver Ferns Squad.

Gordon grew up in Whangarei until Year 12 when she moved to Auckland as a 16-year-old to spend her final two years of school at Mt Albert Grammar. With no boarding facilities at the school, she spent two years as a home-stay student.

An all-rounder on the sports scene at school, Gordon was in the thick of all the action, excelling at netball, volleyball, athletics, cross-country and swimming.

Clear of mind and intent, it wasn’t a hard decision for Gordon to weigh up other options when leaving school.

“I had needed to leave Whangarei, so it was good to get those two years in Auckland but I just felt that I needed something a little bit more after finishing school,” she said.

“I wasn’t at my full potential, my netball was struggling to gain traction in Auckland and it felt I wasn’t going anywhere, so decided to move.

“I knew of Wellington’s coaching and strong set-ups, so I thought it would be a good move to go down there. There are definitely no regrets, it’s been the best decision of my life.”

Gordon was an influential figure in Central Manawa winning the Beko Netball League title in 2018 before being elevated to the Pulse which also came much sooner than she expected.

Being able to play all three midcourt positions makes the versatile Gordon a more than useful asset, this year adding to her resume while learning to execute the finer details of wing attack with her feeding, running lines and leading the centre pass attack.

Making the bold decision to head off to Wellington in her first year out of school held no concerns for Gordon’s parents.

“She was invited to trial in Wellington for the Beko team and they just loved her,” mum Carolyn Gordon said at the time.

“That required making a quick decision and she chose Wellington. Maddy is very independent and since moving has just grown so much, she’s just loved being involved with all the personnel down there and considers them as one big family.

“She was a competitive swimmer but gave that away to play netball. From the age of five, it’s the sport she has always wanted to play. She has done this all on her own and I take my hat off to her for that. It was a great move for her.”