'Now's the right time' - Veteran Silver Fern Bailey Mes retires

Fri, May 19
Bailey Mes has called time on an impressive career.

Former Silver Ferns shooter Bailey Mes has decided to call time on her netball career, announcing this morning she is "at peace" with her decision with the time right to move on.

Mes, a member of the 2019 world championship-winning side, confirmed this morning her final game will be this weekend's ANZ Premiership match when she takes the court for the Magic against the Steel in Invercargill on Sunday.

She retires as Silver Fern #150 having played 76 Tests in the black dress as well as two World Cups and two Commonwealth Games.

"I know that now is the right time for me," she said.

"I'm happy with how I'm playing and have been enjoying my netball this year immensely. But it has been hard over the past few seasons with injuries, and I know my body has reached its limits.

"It is going to be hard to walk away from the High Performance environment because I truly love the game, but I'm also ready for the next chapter and I'm excited about what the future holds away from the netball court.

"I would also like to thank all of those people who have supported me during my time with the Silver Ferns and I wish them all the best for their Netball World Cup campaign in South Africa."

The 33-year-old, renowned for her athleticism in the attacking bibs at international level, was a bolter for the national side in 2012 when she made her debut against South Africa.

However, her promising career was stymied a year later with a serious knee injury although she managed to return to international play a year later and was a key component to the Silver Ferns' defence of their Fast5 world title that year.

Bailey Mes and Ameliaranne Ekenasio celebrate after a win for the Magic.

After helping the Silver Ferns to a silver medal at the 2015 world championship, Mes fell out of favour with selectors as other promising shooters started to surface.

However, a resurgence in 2019 saw her return to the black dress and ultimately a world title in Liverpool as well as a bronze medal at last year's Commonwealth Games.

Silver Ferns coach Dame Noeline Taurua said she was inspired by Mes' resilience.

"I don't think anyone can underestimate the work that Bailey has put in behind the scenes to manage injuries in recent years and continue to play at the level she has," she said.

"She is an incredibly hard-working athlete who has given her all for the black dress and I respect her decision to finish her career when the timing is right for her while she is also playing some of her best netball that she is well known and admired for.

"Bailey will be remembered as a shooter who had an incredible standing jump, was very aerial with her play and could pull off something special in the circle."

Mes said she intends to move back to Auckland for work where she will resume her role as a sport imagery editor at Sky TV.


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