Stacey Francis-Bayman has today announced that she will be retiring from playing netball at both an elite domestic and international level after the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
A day after winning the Suncorp Super Netball Grand Final, Francis-Bayman received resounding applause from her teammates, coaches and club staff and supporters after revealing her news at West Coast Fever’s awards dinner.
A popular and highly regarded player in the game, Francis-Bayman won the first of her 77 Vitality Roses caps to date in 2010 aged 22 and has since played a key role in two Commonwealth Games (2010 and 2014) and two Netball World Cups (2011 and 2015).
The proud Brummie will be determined to add to her medal collection (1 x CWG bronze and 2 x NWC bronzes) and legacy as she makes her final appearances in her hometown this summer.
The defender is one of the most decorated players in Vitality Netball Superleague history having been influential in all five of Team Bath’s title wins to date and being named the league’s Player of the Season twice.
As a result of her impact and achievements both on and off the court, she was inducted into the University of Bath/Team Bath Hall of Fame for Sport in 2017.
In addition to representing Team Bath in the UK’s elite netball competition, she had a season captaining Yorkshire Jets in 2016.
Francis-Bayman has also enjoyed elite domestic success and recognition overseas having featured for Canterbury Tactix in the ANZ Championship and notched up her 100th National League Game in West Coast Fever’s Round 14 win over the Adelaide Thunderbirds this season.
Discussing her decision, Francis-Bayman said: “Whilst there is still very much a job to be done in the coming weeks and there will be more to say then, I feel incredibly content to be able to say, on my own terms and at what feels like the right time, that I have decided to retire from playing netball.
“I am so thankful for the people that I have met and the experiences I have had that have made me into the passionate, courageous, and honest woman that I am.”
Jess Thirlby, Vitality Roses Head Coach, said: “I’ve been fortunate to work with Stacey both in a Vitality Netball Superleague and Vitality Roses environment at age group and senior level spanning over 23 years and she is one of the most driven players I know.
“Choosing to pursue her netball dreams when her family emigrated to Canada was a true indication of that and I could not be happier or more proud of what she’s gone on to achieve for both club and country.
“For her final appearances to be played out not only at a home Commonwealth Games but in her own home city of Birmingham I know will mean a lot to Stacey and her family. To do it having added a Suncorp Super Netball title to an already decorated CV is incredible.
“I would like to thank Stacey for her commitment to the game both on and beyond the court. She has always stayed true to who she is and I know will have and will continue to inspire so many.
“For now, I look forward to welcoming Stacey back into our Commonwealth Games camp this week and we will embrace the high standards I know she upholds of herself and those around her as we aspire to achieve success in Birmingham.”
Francis-Bayman and the rest of the Team England squad will start their Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games campaign, as they look to defend their 2018 title, on Friday 29 July.