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Silver Ferns great Temepara Bailey not ruling out international return at 43

Former Silver Fern Temepara Bailey says she hasn't ruled out a possible return to the international game if the opportunity ever presented itself.

The midcourter told Radio New Zealand's Ravinder Hunia she has "copped it royally" after she announced last month she was returning to elite netball as a player-coach at 43-years-old with the Northern Stars for the 2019 ANZ Premiership.

But Bailey says age is just a number.

"For me I don't really worry about the age, we have jokes within our group but it is about what you can produce so if your body is willing and your mind is there you will be fine," she said.

"This is where I started my netball, in the south, and the Stars means a lot to me in that regard."

The 89 Test-cap veteran wrapped up her 13-year netball career in 2011, since serving as a netball commentator and assistant coach to the Stars. She also had a mini comeback in 2014 with the Northern Mystics but it only lasted one season.

In her career, she won back-to-back Commonwealth Games golds in 2006 and 2010 as well as a gold and silver at the respective 2003 and 2011 World Cup. She also won a gold at the 2009 Fast5 World Netball Series.

While Bailey making a run for international selection in time for next year's World Cup is highly unlikely, she hasn't ruled out a return to the black singlet after the event in Liverpool.

"I'm concentrating on what's here and now and there are so many other great players around and for me it's about this task that I've got in front of me.

"My thoughts aren't at that stage and if it ever happens then I'll deal with it, if it does, if it doesn't I'm happy."

Silver Ferns C Temepara George. New World International Series, 2nd Test, New Zealand Silver Ferns v World 7. Trusts Stadium, Waitakere, Auckland. Saturday 29 August 2009. Photo: Simon Watts/PHOTOSPORT
Temepara Bailey makes a pass for the Silver Ferns in 2009. Source: Photosport


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