Durheim takes Swifts step
FORMER Lismore Daleys netball player Kristy Durheim has won a permanent spot in the NSW Swifts squad for next season.
Durheim, the daughter of former Marist Brothers rugby league player Jason, has been on the fringes of the Swifts for a number of seasons since moving to Sydney as a teenager after she finished school.
However, the centre court star was previously snubbed for a permanent contract with the Swifts in the trans-Tasman ANZ Championship.
The 23-year-old managed to play two games with the glamour Sydney outfit in 2010 after she replaced the injured Vanessa Ware.
Those two games were in the semi-finals which the Swifts lost - their first defeats of the season. Durheim was not called up in 2011.
After earning a start at the elite level of their sport, many athletes would give up when they were next overlooked.
Instead, Durheim applied herself to playing for Manly-Warringah who won their third straight State League premiership in 2011.
That dedication paid off when Netball NSW general manager Carolyn Campbell announced Durheim and Kimberly Borger were the final recruits for the Swifts' 2012 squad.
"Our aim is to always promote NSW talent where possible and provide sufficient pathways for our elite players to play at the ANZ Championship level," she said.
"Durheim and Borger are products of those pathways and I am very pleased that they have accepted our offer to play for the NSW Swifts in 2012.
"Durheim had an outstanding season, playing a pivotal role for Manly-Warringah.
"She has also been a standout for the Netball NSW Waratahs."
The Waratahs won the Australian Netball League title earlier this month.
Durheim was unavailable for comment yesterday but her father Jason was very proud of her efforts.
"She hasn't had it easy down there," he said.
"She's had to work for everything she's got and she deserves it."
It's been a controversial off-season for the Swifts with new coach Lisa Beehag taking over from the long-serving Julie Fitzgerald.
Shortly after, star goal shooter Catherine Cox rejected Sydney's offer for a new contract and instead signed with the West Coast Fever.
However, the strength of the Swifts squad can't be questioned with five players - Mo'onia Gerrard, Kim Green, Susan Pratley, Carla Dziwoki and April Letton - all in the Australian Diamonds squad for upcoming Tests against England and New Zealand next month.
2012 NSW Swifts
Kimberly Borger, Carla Dziwoki, Kristy Durheim, Mo'onia Gerrard, Kimberlee Green, April Letton, Samantha May, Sonia Mkoloma, Susan Pratley, Jo Sutton, Vanessa Ware and Amorette Wild.