Serena Guthrie of the Vitality Roses.

Silver Ferns v Vitality English Roses, 30th October 2020, Claudelands Arena, Hamilton. Credit: Sportpix - Kevin Booth

When Serena Guthrie stepped on court on Friday 30 October to take her place as co-captain against the New Zealand Silver Ferns, she made Vitality Roses history.

The mid-courter was making her 100th appearance for her country, becoming one of a few players to reach this milestone in the famous red dress.

Guthrie received well-deserved congratulations before the game and celebrated with her teammates after the final whistle, as both sides watched a compilation of her best moments on the big screen.

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“It felt great! There was a full crowd, great atmosphere and a great game of netball. I’m just really proud of the intent of our team today. It was a real step forward from the last game,” said Guthrie.

“It’s been quite a big day in a very good way. I suppose I’ve never really realised or had a proper moment to reflect on my journey and the people that have been involved in it. So it’s been quite a humbling day. To date my best netball memory.”

The achievement comes after more than a decade playing for her nation. The 30-year-old made her debut against Malawi when she had just turned 18 in 2008 and never looked back.

Guthrie has experienced everything that international netball has to offer in her ensuing decade playing at the top level.

The Jersey-born player has featured at three Netball World Cups and two Commonwealth Games as well as countless test series against the best teams in the world.

The pinnacle of her career to date came in 2018 when she played an influential part in England’s history-making Commonwealth Games gold medal on the Gold Coast.

Since, the Team Bath Netball legend has captained her country during a home Netball World Cup when the competition came to Liverpool in 2019.

“This is one the highlights of my career because it is a moment to look back and reflect and to celebrate with my friends, my family, my teammates,” she said.

“Of course that Commonwealth Games gold is always something that sticks in my mind as well. I enjoyed the general journey as well; the wins, the losses, the whole shebang really so I’m just looking forward to what comes after this.

“Never in a million years [did I think I’d win my 100th cap]. If someone had told 18-year-old Serena that I was going to get 100, I would have laughed them out of the room. I’m so grateful, so appreciative to get here. It will live in my memory forever.”

Guthrie has been training alongside Imogen Allison and saw her win her first-ever cap in the first meeting with New Zealand.

With the two players at differing ends of the spectrum, Guthrie believes that Allison too could become a Vitality Rose centurion in the future.

“I’m Imogen’s number one fan and she knows it. I think the girl has an incredible future in the Vitality Roses team,” she said.

“It was an amazing experience for me to play alongside her for her first cap because I believe she’s a player that can go on and get her 100th. I’m just really excited to see her grow in this team as we move forward.”

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