The Southern Steel captain Wendy Frew has announced her retirement after sixteen years of domestic and international netball.
Wendy Frew announced today she will retire from playing netball at the end of the Southern Steel's 2018 campaign.
At 33-years-old Frew has only played the entirety of her domestic netball career in the deep south - first with the Southern Sting in 2002 while she was still attending high school before it changed to the Southern Steel in 2008.
The mid-courter became vice captain of the Steel in 2013 along with former teammate Liana Leota.
"I know the time is right for me so I just want to get on with the season now and do as much as I can to get the title and go back-to-back," Frew said.
"People are still playing past 33 but I know for me I've always wanted to finish my career still on the court, not sitting on the bench.
"I've always been pretty big on that and, while I could keep chipping away for the next couple of years, I feel like I'm going out on my own terms."
The Southern Steel along with other franchises are currently contracting for 2019 so the importance for Frew let let officials know her plans now was pivotal to future plans.
Recently named ILT Southland Sportsperson of the Year, the iconic midcourter has featured in 16 national campaigns for the Southern franchise, including the Southern Sting.
Frew has racked up an impressive 170 elite games so far.
After combating injuries resulting in over 70 stitches following the team's van crash in June 2017 and then rupturing her Achilles tendon just a month later, Frew's return to the court has been inspirational.
"If I'd retired last season, I felt like the Achilles injury would have defined my career and I wasn't going to let that happen. It's been hard yards but totally worth it." says Frew
"As a parent, there's times when I am away a lot and in and out the door - it's just something we've lived with but it will be nice to be 100 percent committed to them as a mum and wife."
Steel chief executive Lana Winders said it had been an "enormous privilege" to work alongside Frew.
"Wendy is the epitome of everything that is strong and good about the Southern Steel. A shrewd interpreter of the game, a complete leader and a generous giver of her heart, knowledge and wisdom on and off the court to the players, the franchise and our fans," says Winders
"Our focus now will be working with Wendy to determine her future involvement with the Steel in a support role."