Collingwood and former Australian goal-attack Nat Medhurst will place her netball career on hold for 2020.
The 36-year-old will take time away from the court as she prepares to become a mother for the first time in July. Medhurst’s news follows that of her teammates April Brandley and Kim Ravaillion who will also become mothers in the coming months.
Across a 16-year career, Medhurst has earned 86 test caps for the Australian Diamonds and joined Collingwood last year as one of the nation’s all-time most capped players.
Medhurst broke into the international netball scene in 2005, winning three world championships and a Commonwealth Games gold over 12 years of international selection.
Medhurst has played 15 matches for the Pies, after crossing from West Coast Fever at the end of the 2018 season. She has played a total of 235 matches.
Last year Medhurst claimed third place for the most national league games played, following Cath Cox (254) and Bianca Chatfield (244).
Medhurst is one of the most experienced and decorated players in the Super Netball competition.
The goal-attack scored 166 goals with a shooting accuracy of 82 per cent for the 2019 season.
“I’d like to thank Collingwood for their support over the past year,” Medhurst said.
“I have given so much of my life to netball over the years and whilst I’m disappointed not to be taking the court with the girls next season, there is no better reason to take a break than motherhood.
“When I will return to the game is uncertain at this time. I will continue to support and be involved with the program from the sidelines in 2020.”
Collingwood Magpies’ head coach Rob Wright congratulated Medhurst on her news.
“I am delighted for Nat and her partner Samuel as they prepare to become parents,” Wright said.
“Nat is respected as one of the greatest goal-attacks of our time, with more test caps than any current playing player. She’s an icon for Australian netball and her on-court presence will be missed in 2020.
“We wish her and Samuel all the best for their future endeavours."
Medhurst’s replacement in the Magpies squad will be determined in the coming weeks.