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Lightning defender and Melbourne Vixens Training Partner, Gabby Coffey, was recently elevated into the Magpies match day squad under the SSN COVID-19 Contingency Framework.

When and how did you find out that you would be travelling with the Magpies to Sydney for their Round 5 match against the Giants?

I was camping in Heathcote with my partner and his family for the Easter break. I got a call from Richo (Nicole Richardson) at 8:30pm on Friday night confirming that they needed me to come and help their team out for their game in Sydney.


How did you prepare, did you have much time?

I wouldn’t say I had a massive amount of time to prepare, but I had just enough time to get everything in order and be ready for the game. I basically found out at 8:30pm, drove back to Melbourne and got home around 10:30pm, got everything ready and flew out at 9am Saturday morning! It was a quick turnaround, luckily we got a bit of a break before the game on Saturday.


How was it joining a team that you had not trained with? Have you played with any of the Magpies athletes before?

It was actually a challenge to join a team not knowing many of the girls or the plays. I had played with Jac Newton, but that was in 2019, so a while ago. Before the game, I spent a good amount of time analysing Collingwood's set ups and defensive plays so I could be somewhat prepped on the fly. I sat with Richo and she ran me through a few plays, but basically she just wanted me to ‘see ball, get ball’.

What was it like stepping on to the Super Netball court for the first time? Was debuting against Jo Harten?

Honestly it was nerve-racking, but in general I felt relaxed in knowing what my job was, and that I had done all the preparation already with the Vixens. It was probably only when I got on court against Jo that I recognised how much of a step up it was playing against someone who has played the game for years and is so smart in her movements. I was just trying to work her hard and hope for some ball to be spoiled!


What have you gained from your experience with the Magpies over the weekend?

I have gained so much. It was an incredible experience playing with a different team, and under Richo. I think any experience to be coached by someone new is invaluable. I learnt more about the intensity of the game and what I will need to do next time if the opportunity arises again, which hopefully it does!

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