Clarke finally decides to close the book on a golden career
And enough by Clarke’s estimation is more than most netballers could ever dream of.
Joining the Adelaide Thunderbirds as Alex Hodge, the wing attack went on to play 24 games for Australia, 113 Commonwealth Bank Trophy games for the Adelaide Thunderbirds, Sydney Sandpipers and Queensland Firebirds.
She then returned home to Adelaide to take part in the Adelaide Thunderbirds tilt at the inaugural ANZ Championship – netball’s drive towards professional sport.
Oh, yes, and along the way she pocketed a Commonwealth Games gold medal in 2002, two Commonwealth Bank Trophy championships in 1998 and 1999 and a State League title with Bluewater Matrics in 1997.
The only big one to escape her was a world championship.
For Clarke the chance to celebrate one last presentation evening Friday night at the elite level was as good a time as any to make the announcement most players dread.
“I know you are a long time retired but I have had a great run, really enjoyed the ride and while I might not be playing at the top any more, I have made a lot of friends along the way who I will have forever,” Clarke says.
“Netball has been fantastic and I am glad I was able to keep going long enough to have played in the first Trans Tasman competition – the whole experience was such a buzz and something so many of us ‘older’ girls have hoped for over the years,” she says.