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SA’s queen of the court calls it a day

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“Being able to represent and serve my country as a netball player must be one of the best things that I could have ever asked for”

After an illustrious career that has run for 12 years as a Proteas player, centre Erin Burger has decided to call it quits on her international netball career.

The lanky Burger has represented and played for South Africa 120 times and was the first South African to win 100 caps. She made her debut for South Africa in January 2007 as a 19-year-old against England in Birmingham and has played under five national coaches.

“Being able to represent and serve my country as a netball player must be one of the best things that I could have ever asked for,” Burger said. “It has been an absolute honour for me to play the game. I have learnt a lot and grown so much as a person and as a player.

“My biggest gratitude to Netball SA and the entire leadership. Thank you for all that you’ve done and continue to do to grow the game. You’ve given a young girl like me an opportunity to live her dream.”

During the 2011 World Cup in Singapore, Burger was voted player of the tournament.

She has had some special moments on court as a player and at one point took to the court with a fractured cheekbone, continuing to play with a special mask against Wales.

Burger played her last international match against England in Liverpool – the same team she played her first game against back in 2007.

“We are very blessed to have had a brilliant player like Erin playing for the Proteas,” said Netball SA president Cecilia Molokwane.

“Players of her calibre and work ethic are a pleasure to work with. Erin has been a true ambassador of the game and always delivered whenever called upon.

“We are going to miss her as national player, but we are very happy of the role she has played in helping us build a team that we have today.

“As the leadership of Netball South Africa, we wish her well with her future endeavours. Your immense contribution to the sport is one we can never ignore. Thank you and all the best.”

Burger currently plays her domestic netball in Australia, where she plays for Queensland’s Firebirds, and she has competed in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, the 2007 World Netball Championships in Auckland, and the 2011 world championships in Singapore. She has also participated in the 2010 and 2011 World Netball Series, both held in Liverpool.