Introducing... 'Roses Down Under'

Goal shooter George Fisher has very much been a player to watch ever since she burst onto the scene in the Vitality Netball Superleague in 2016 and with the Vitality Roses a year later.

Now, after years of consistent performances at club and international level, the 22-year-old is in New Zealand as she gets a sneak peak at her future surroundings.

Fisher recently joined ANZ Premiership side Southern Steel, something she ‘always wanted to do’. This long-term ambition was not met overnight, though, but through over a decade of playing.

“I absolutely love getting the goals in”

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Fisher’s move to Invercargill – the southernmost city in New Zealand – has come off the back of a highly successful year for the VNSL champion.

The ex-Wasps Netball player started for the Vitality Roses under Jess Thirlby in both the South Africa Series and the Vitality Netball Nations Cup. She also finished the short-lived 2020 season with 131 goals from just three appearances.

Although synonymous with the shooting circle, Fisher trialled many different positions before landing as a GS and even dabbled in a plethora of other sports before deciding netball was for her.

“I started playing when I was 11. My school suggested I play because my brother was the biggest child there, but I found out quickly that I enjoyed it. I was also a national swimmer, I used to love football and rugby. I was like ‘yeah, I’m a lad and a tomboy’ which was cool.

“I’ve not always played goal shooter. I went goal keeper, goal defence, goal shooter, goal attack, dabbled in centre and then went back to shooter again because it turns out I wasn’t very good at running.

“I am a glory hunter. I absolutely love shooting and getting the goals in. I’ve tried every position in training. You have to try everything out there and you play everything in training.”

“I had to create my own style [of play]”

Fisher will be starting a brand new chapter of her career in New Zealand, having to adapt to the Kiwi style and get used to her new teammates.

The shooter has shared a court with some of the best players to date and will now play with the likes of Silver Fern Shannon Saunders with Steel. Fisher has had plenty of netball role models to look up to in the past.

“My biggest netball idol was always Jo Harten. She’s from just down the road from where I grew up and I thought she was so cool. Her style of play is awesome but I had to create my own style because I can’t copy someone else’s,” she said.

“I also look up to Layla Guscoth a lot. Although she doesn’t play in my position, I think her work ethic is insane. She’s a doctor, an England netballer, is out in Australia. Who wouldn’t want to be her? Everyone wants to be Layla.”

Like many of the Vitality Roses, Fisher proclaims that her biggest influences in her career have come away from the court. She has praised early coaches, teachers and her family for the impact they’ve had on her.

“My biggest influence early on was my teacher. I was then taken into Turnford Netball Club after being picked up at a tournament by the Titmuss family, who coached me up and helped me with everything. I was doing one-to-one sessions with Dannii Titmuss.

“My parents have had the biggest influence on my career to date, though. They financially supported me for years, they drove me all over the country, they did everything for me and without that sort of impact I just wouldn’t be able to be where I am today.”

“I never thought that I would be an England player”

Despite still being 22, Fisher already has 12 England caps to her name and has proved a key part of Head Coach Jess Thirlby’s plans during her tenure thus far.

Thirlby has selected the youngster for the South Africa Series, Vitality Netball Nations Cup and the upcoming Cadbury Test Series with New Zealand.

Fisher, though, never thought she’d even get one cap for her country when she first started playing the sport. In fact, she never had any long-term goals other than to just enjoy the sport.

“I didn’t have an aim when I started playing. I loved training but I didn’t have any goals when I started playing at 11. I was rejected at Satellite trials when I was 12 but, with Carole Titmuss, I managed to get myself selected for the regional team.

“I got into England U17s when I was 14 and then I remained there until I was 15 or 16. I then went to U19s and then I went to U21s and played in a Netball World Youth Cup in Botswana. When the programme first started, I was 17 and got selected into the Vitality Roses squad and I’ve trained hard and stayed there for the moment.

“I definitely never thought that I would be an England netball player. I always wanted to be an Olympian and, although netball wasn’t an Olympic sport, I just enjoyed it so much.”

Read our other Where It All Began instalments including; Halimat Adio, Summer Artman, Eleanor Cardwell, Amy Carter, Iona Christian, Jade Clarke, Sophie Drakeford-Lewis, Laura Malcolm, Gabby Marshall, Nat Panagarry, Yasmin Parsons, Razia Quashie and Fran Williams.

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