SOUTH Bendigo’s Justine Fitzgibbon becomes the first netballer in the club’s history to play 200 games on Saturday.
Fitzgibbon, nee Connaughton, will achieve the feat on a court she has stepped on thousands of times when the Bloods take on Castlemaine at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
She will put on the goalkeeper’s bib for the A-reserve match against the Magpies.
“To have played 200 games for the club means a lot,” said Fitzgibbon.
She is a fourth-generation player for the red and white.
Her brother, Ryan Connaughton is still racking up kicks on the football field and cousins Aaron and Jake Connaughton also play for the Bloods.
“The family links at South go back a long way,” she said.
Her early years in netball were at Falcons.
Fitzgibbon first played for Bendigo Strikers in Regional State League and had one season playing at Kangaroo Flat Football Netball Club where Carol Bingham was coach.
She joined South Bendigo in 2001.
The only season she has not played for the Bloods was in 2012 when on an overseas holiday.
Playing is just one of many roles she has taken on at the club.
Fitzgibbon was A-grade coach from 2008 until 2010 and also coached other grades.
She said a highlight this year was South Bendigo being represented by three teams – A-reserve, B-reserve and the 17-unders – in the finals series.
“We have been steadily building the past few seasons, so it’s great to have a few more teams in the top five and preparing for finals.
“To see players and teams developing is what it’s all about.”
Support from family, friends and her husband, Luke has played a big part in Fitzgibbon continuing to be on or courtside season after season.