WHEN Emily Moore received a phone call from Queensland Firebirds Head Coach Bec Bulley late last year, the last thing she expected was to be given a chance to play for the club in 2023.
Having struggled with the increasing demands of working full-time alongside her netball career, Moore was effectively retired after coming through the GIANTS’ academy system and winning two NSW Premier League championships with North Shore United.
Having worked closely with Bulley at both the GIANTS and North Shore, Moore thought the phone call was simply a catch-up before she was offered the opportunity to move to Brisbane on a trial basis.
“It's a bit of a sliding doors moment really,” Moore said.
“I had decided that I was probably going to hang up the Netburners at the end of last year.
“I wasn't committed to the GIANTS again, or even to NSW Premier League.
“It made it a little bit easier in that sense.
“It was a no-brainer. Yes, it’s a big move to effectively uproot your life for six weeks but it’s just one of those opportunities that doesn’t come knocking very often. I would’ve kicked myself if I didn’t come up and give it a go.”
Initially signed on a six-week trial contract, that deal was then extended until early March before Gretel Bueta’s pregnancy announcement confirmed the Australian goaler wouldn’t be playing for the Firebirds in 2023.
Moore was then signed by the Firebirds as a permanent replacement player for Bueta for the upcoming Suncorp Super Netball season, where she’ll get the chance to prove herself against the world’s best.
For a born-and-bred Sydney girl, the move north couldn’t have gone any better – despite a harsh lesson on the fierceness of the Queensland sun shortly after arriving.
“I’m a summer girl and I’m loving that I can wake up and it’s 24 degrees at eight o’clock,” Moore said.
“The first weekend I was here, Macy (Gardner) took me to the beach and I came back with a bit of a burn – so learnt my lesson there very quickly that the Brisbane sun is strong, even if it’s windy.
“It's been unreal. Everybody is so lovely. All the girls but also all the staff … I feel like I've been home since the moment I walked in here which is really something special.”
The move also means a reunion with Bulley, who she combined with to win the NSW Premier League, and Moore is confident Firebirds’ fans will like what they see when the team takes the court for the upcoming Suncorp Super Netball campaign.
“She is the full package and I'm really excited to see what she can do at SSN level,” Moore said.
“She obviously has had some time as the assistant coach at the Swifts and I think you can already tell they benefited from having her in their environment, but I'm very keen to see what she does as Head Coach.
“The biggest thing for me is just her understanding of people ... coaches, obviously their job is to deliver on court and create a winning team on court, but I think Bec does that by focusing in on everybody as people.
“She gets to know you and then works with the players to build a culture that is going to be successful.”