NS EXCLUSIVE: Gabby Sinclair – Black, White and Green make Teal

NS EXCLUSIVE: Gabby Sinclair – Black, White and Green make Teal

Gabby Sinclair has become well-known for her super-shot prowess as an inaugural player for
the Melbourne Mavericks; her accuracy from two point range currently sits at 74% – 10% higher than her next closest rival.

However, her journey to the teal dress has not been without
uncertainty. Reflecting on her career, Gabby notes that her early experiences have helped her
cultivate a mindset of resilience and self-belief, allowing her to take the challenges she has
faced in her stride.

“Even early on throughout my netball career, not making state teams, making ANL teams,
and then being dropped the next year, I feel like I’ve built that strength over time.
“I surround myself with people close to me and know me the best. I think I’ve always been a
very resilient person from a very young age as well.

“You’ve just got to have that self-belief. And there are people out there who see how good
you are and believe in you, and you’ve just got to grab onto those things.”


Gabby Sinclair celebrates her 50th national league match in Round 2, 2024. Image: May Bailey/Clusterpix Sports Photography


The Black and White Dress

Gabby started her professional netball career with the Collingwood Magpies in 2019, having
been a training partner since 2017.

“I got my first SSN contact with the Magpies. We were a very young group to start with, and
then we had a lot of injuries to our experienced players.

“As an athlete, you can be quite hard on yourself, and when you’re not winning games, it’s
extra tough.

“Whatever happens, you always learn things about yourself and grow as a person and a


The Green Dress

But at the end of 2022, Sinclair was not re-offered a contract. Unsure of the next steps and ‘where
[her] netball was going to go’, Gabby set her sights on a trip through Europe. Whilst sitting
on a beach in Spain, Gabby received a phone call from the manager of Cardiff Dragons,
offering her an opportunity to play in England’s Netball Super League.

“A player for the Cardiff Dragons who was playing in the Commonwealth Games did her
ACL. She was an import player and the same position as me, which opened an opportunity
for me to come into the team.

“What a great opportunity to live in a different country and challenge myself.”


Gabi Sinclair has eyes only for the circle. Image Marcela Massey


What Gabby was most looking forward to was enjoying her netball again.

“I really wanted just to start loving netball again and enjoying it because I found the 2022
season quite challenging personally, so it was nice to go to Cardiff and be in a fresh
environment with a whole new coaching staff and new players to get to know.

“Learning off new people and being able to help and support those around me to succeed and
grow as well, were some of the things I loved about going over to the Dragons.”

Gabby supported her new team by implementing some of the high-performance standards she
learned while playing in the Suncorp Super Netball league for four years. “It was things like
footage analysis, understanding the players you are coming up against, training standards like
finishing off drills, putting in extra court-work or in the gym, and those sorts of things to help
everyone become better players.

“When I went to Wales, I just wanted to enjoy my netball again and just love playing the
game. And I felt like I did that, and that’s what I wanted to achieve going over there.

“I felt like when I left SSN, I had a lot more to give and a lot more to grow as a player. So, I
felt like there was a bit of unfinished business in SSN.”


Gabby Sinclair at Collingwood. Photo: Marcela Massey


The Teal Dress

That opportunity came at the end of 2023 with a phone call from Tracey Neville, the inaugural coach of the Melbourne Mavericks.

“She was very interested in having me join the Mavericks. It was exciting, a whole new club with lots
of unknowns but also very intriguing and lots of potential.

“Tracey is a world-class coach, and she had a great vision for the Mavericks and wanted all
the puzzle pieces to connect to create something very special. That is what pulled me towards
coming back to the SSN.

“There are challenges with a whole new group of players and the off-court logistics. For
example, where’s our home base going to be? Where were we going to be going to the gym?
Because it was a pretty quick turnaround from when the Mavs were given a licence, to getting
the team off the ground.

“As a new club, we could start and do things how we wanted to do them, which has been
really important and such a great thing for our club. We could start from scratch.”

Reinvigorated from her time at the Dragons, Gabby found herself back in Melbourne, where
her family and friends are based, to take on the challenge of a whole new playing group who,
at the beginning of the season, were riddled with unfortunate injuries.

“It’s very much a week-by-week thing for us at the moment.

“I’ve played with Molly and Shimona before. I know their play styles
quite well, which helped me come into the lineup well. And I feel like everyone else on the
court has been doing their job and sticking to the task. And I think that’s really what has been
helping us step over that line to start pushing teams and getting those wins.


Gabby Sinclair under the post for Mavericks – she’s now played with Shimona Jok (nee Nelson) at two different clubs. Image: Aliesha Vicars


One of the most important components of cultivating a new team is supporting a positive
training environment; head coach Tracey Neville is a proponent of that.

“I think Tracey facilitates that, as does the playing group. It’s a fun place to come and play
and train with everyone.

“Tracey has been taking a lot of the attacking stuff, which has been great. I have never had
Tracey as a coach, so I feel like I am learning so much.

“I think also because she is an English coach, there are many different things you can learn
that are different from the typical Australian way of playing, which has been great for our
netball craft.

“Tracey has a unique balance of having fun and getting to know you on a personal level. But
then, when it comes to business and crunch time, she’s so passionate, and you know what she
wants from you.”

The brand of netball that the Mavericks are continuing to build focuses on dogged defence
and clinical ball work in attack.

“I think defensively, we want to be dogged and put that pressure on early and create that fear
in the opposition.

“In attack, we want to be that clinical team that can get that centre pass conversion and
capitalise on those foundational things. And I think in the past couple of weeks, we’ve started
to do that and build that consistency throughout games.”

Captain Amy Parmenter has also been vital in developing the Mavericks’ brand of netball and
a positive team culture.

“She’s a little workhorse. On the court, she leads by example, drives those standards, and
pushes us. Off the court, she does so many small things and suggests ideas to help improve
our program.

“I think she’s just such a good person and so approachable. Anyone could go up to her and
ask her anything, and she’d be willing to help and try and improve.”

Looking forward to the remaining rounds of the 2024 season, Gabby aims to continue
building connections across the court and executing a full 60-minute performance.

“I just want to keep working on those connections throughout the whole court, the goaler-to-
goaler connections, and connections with the centre, which I think have been coming each
week, which is exciting.

“Also, I want to keep consistent in what I’ve been doing and focus on my job and role within
the team, which is the two-point shot, but also bringing the ball safely down to goal during
that one-point time with the centre court.


Gabby Sinclair on the drive. Image: May Bailey/Clusterpix Sports Photography 


“The team as a whole has been building over the past couple of weeks. We want to focus on
our defensive strengths and putting that four-quarter performance out on the court. Against
Firebirds, we showed that and what we are capable of.”

“It’s been a wild journey so far. It’s been a good one. I am so proud of everyone.”

Gabby also invests time in other passions off the court, which helps her create balance in her
life and increase her resilience.

“Filling your life with things outside of netball that also make you happy is important.
Because at the end of the day, you’re not just a netballer.”

“Prior to netball, I was a registered nurse. I worked as a nurse for probably three years full-
time, and then, as netball increased in its commitments, those hours decreased.

“I returned to university a year ago, doing a post-grad degree in women’s health. That’s an
area that I’m very interested in.
“I like to study and go to the beach, and in my off seasons, I love to travel and explore the world.”


Sinclair is the supershot queen, with an accuracy of 74% – 10% higher than anyone else. Image: May Bailey/Clusterpix Sports Photography 

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