The West Coast Eagles have signed former West Coast Fever netball star Verity Simmons on a rookie contract for the 2024 season.
The dual Super Netball premiership player announced her retirement from the sport in November, bringing an end to her stellar 159-game national league career, including three caps for the Australian Diamonds.
Simmons began her career with the Fever in 2012, before joining the Queensland Firebirds ahead of the 2014 season.
The New South Wales local remained at the Firebirds for two seasons, where she won her first premiership in 2015, before returning to the west in 2016 to play out the remainder of her career.
The 32-year-old was a vital piece of the Fever’s maiden premiership in 2022, her on-court toughness and unmatched fitness levels proving valuable weapons through the midcourt.
Simmons said she’s excited to switch sporting codes and can’t wait to immerse herself in the football world.
“I’m super excited to move into footy,” Simmons said.
“I’m definitely going to be fresh, I’m excited to come through as a rookie and just be sponge and soak up as much as I literally can.
“Switching codes is always super exciting and getting to have a crack at this.
“I think the biggest part also is being in a bigger team, new girls, fresh faces, fresh coach, I feel like I’m turning a new leaf, a new chapter and I can’t wait.”
Having never played football before, Simmons said it was the right time for something new.
“It all happened very quickly, as much as I love netball and the game, I was just kind of phasing out of it,” Simmons said.
“I think when you’re at the elite level, if you’re not loving what you’re doing, you probably shouldn’t be there, which put me in this position to open myself up to something new.
“Football came across the table, I’ve never done it before, but I’ve played a bit of sevens and touch footy back in the day, but we’re just moving through the process and now I’m here with the Eagles.”
Netball and football could not be less alike, but Simmons said she’s excited for the challenge.
“The fact that I’ll be able to run with the ball and not have to pass it is great!” Simmons said.
“The field is so big, the speed, the agility, I think I’ll really try and transfer that from netball onto the paddock.
“The contact will be huge, but that also really excites me, the physicality of it is incredible to watch.”