March 4, 2021
A bodily etching of her special number is on the radar for Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse midcourter Maddy Gordon after she became the Silver Ferns newest member during the second netball test against Australia.
Following a swift progression up the ranks, the midcourt dynamo became Silver Fern #177 after making two separate appearances at wing defence during the match, achieving a long-held dream in the process despite her debut ending in a loss.
Still buzzing the day after and in hot demand, # 177 forever belongs to Gordon in Silver Ferns history and that could now also become a personal and permanent reminder in the form of a tattoo.
``It honestly feels amazing to be a Silver Fern,’’ she said. ``It was a dream of mine since I was a young girl, so for it to actually come true is just surreal.
``I’m now definitely thinking about getting a tattoo of the number 177, that’s how much it means to me.’’
Gordon, who recently turned 21, capped a sensational 2020 season for the Pulse with her naming in the Silver Ferns squad and sealed that with her first international appearance in extra quick time.
Traditionally a wing defence/centre, the fleet-footed bundle of energy added wing attack to her resume last season and is now comfortable in playing all three midcourt positions.
``Obviously, all of last year I was a wing attack for the Pulse but everything leading up to this (debut) I’ve just trusted the process and I’ve been learning a lot, so thought, I’ve just got to go out there and do what I know I can,’’ she said.
``Before the game, I was actually quite nervous but once I was standing there and about to go on, all those nerves disappeared and I was super excited and pumped.
``Coming up against the world No 1s is going to be a tough ask. I learnt a lot and hopefully I get to play them again but it was super cool to come up against some of the world’s best.’’
Gordon’s Whangarei-based family could not be on hand for her special moment because of the current Covid-19 Level 2 restrictions and being unable to travel through Auckland. However, the small crowd in attendance for the Constellation Cup series against Australia in Christchurch wasn’t lacking for enthusiasm.
``Even though it was only a small 100-strong crowd, you could honestly hear them the whole time and even just being on court and the girls getting behind me, the whole atmosphere was awesome to be a part of,’’ Gordon said.
``This series, I’ve just really enjoyed it. When we first came in, we had a couple of tough trainings but it was so good because we got so much clarity out of it, everyone was on the same page, everyone working super hard and the girls have been so good to me, knowing I was going to have a chance to get my debut.
``They were all so supportive in getting behind me, just telling me to give it my all and play to my strengths.’’
With the four-match series level at one win apiece, Gordon is backing the Silver Ferns to bounce back in Saturday’s pivotal third game after yesterday’s disappointing outing.
``We went back to the drawing board this morning, had a good look at ourselves and were just made aware that a lot of it boiled down to personal errors and that our structures do work,’’ she said. ``We trust our structures, it’s all about those little fine-liners and we’re excited about the next two games coming up.’’
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