FORMER Australian Diamonds netball captain Natalie von Bertouch will play for Corryong on Saturday.
The Upper Murray league club is out to replicate the success of football clubs that have had AFL players play matches for them by luring the champion netballer for a one-off appearance against fierce rival Federal.
“I’m really looking forward to playing and meeting everyone involved with the club,” von Bertouch said last night.
“Club netball is where it all begins, whether you’re a player, coach or volunteer.
“It was a real surprise getting the invite from Corryong.
“But it’s a massive participation sport with a growing profile, so hopefully things like this become common place like with the AFL.
“I haven’t played for a while, so maybe they should start me on the bench.”
Von Bertouch, 31, retired last year as one of our most decorated netballers.
The Adelaide Thunderbirds legend is the only player to win two ANZ championships as captain.
She is also a two-time world champion, captaining Australia to the 2011 title and playing a crucial role in the 2007 victory.
The star centre also has two silver medals from Commonwealth Games campaigns.
Von Bertouch was named the ANZ Championship’s Player of the Year in 2009, before taking out the highest individual honour in Australian netball by winning the Liz Ellis Diamond award in 2010.
Corryong coach Tahnee Thorpe said von Bertouch couldn’t arrive at a better time for the Demons, with Corryong taking on the competition powerhouse and 10-time reigning premier this week.
“It’s really exciting for the club,” Thorpe said.
“One of the club members, Stephen Whitsed, pursued it which was great.
“It’s something different and we’re really looking forward to it.”
Former AFL stars Brendan Fevola and Jason Akermanis, who both play football for Ovens and Murray clubs, have attracted unprecedented crowds for one-off games for country clubs in recent years.
Corryong is hosting a sponsors night at a function after the game, with more than prizes valued at $3000 up for grabs.
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