Today (01/01/21), we celebrate the birthday of Stacey Francis as the experienced Vitality Rose defender turns 33!
Despite the challenging times for sport in 2020, Stacey enjoyed a fine individual year on the netball court and will be hoping to continue her performances over the next 12 months.
Stacey started her 32nd year by playing in front of a home crowd for the Vitality Roses for the first time in just over four years when she appeared in the Vitality Netball Nations Cup.
The 33-year-old had previously made her comeback for England in Cape Town as the visitors took on South Africa.
“I think that I shouldn’t take my experiences and I guess my seniority in terms of caps and age for granted. I don’t just expect to be given a starting bib, although that’s obviously what I want, I would like it to be an even and fair playing field and I want to earn the right to step out on court and wear the Roses’ dress,” she told Sky Sports upon her return.
The Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) champion certainly put on a show in her first home series since December 2016. Through her rebounds and intercepts, Stacey was one of the shining lights for Head Coach Jess Thirlby.
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Sadly, that was the last we saw of Stacey in a red dress in 2020 due to the postponement of competitive international netball.
Stacey, who currently has 73 caps to her name, did return to court in Australia with her Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) side West Coast Fever.
The former Team Bath Netball star has shined for the Perth-based team since joining in 2016 but Stacey truly stepped up in 2020 as she guided Fever to a SSN Grand Final.
Stacey played in 17 games last season, winning 10, as Fever made their first Grand Final since 2018. She finished the campaign with 14 intercepts, 38 deflections, and 11 rebounds.
We can’t wait to see her back in action in 2021 and see what the year might hold for our Vitality Rose!