Two years ago, Maddy Gordon was playing high school netball.
Now, the Northland midcourter has been a part of two winning Beko Netball League campaigns with Central Manawa, a winning ANZ Premiership campaign with the Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse and she was recently selected as part of the New Zealand A squad which played England and Australia last week.
While this meteoric rise in Gordon's netball career has been surprising, it's no less than the 19-year-old deserved after she committed all her energy and focus to pursuing netball, which began at age 14.
Gordon played her first netball at Maungatapere School before moving to Huanui College where she progressed through the sport until she was a Year 10 student in 2014.
It was at this point when Gordon made the first of three big life decisions to help her netball career, deciding to shift schools to Whangārei Girls' High School for her third year of high school.
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Even with a more testing netball competition at her new school and in Northland representative teams, Gordon knew she needed to look further afield if she was to truly grow as a player.
"I thought I should just get out of Whangārei because I know that just to get out and get seen a bit more, I'd have to leave," she said.
"At rep [tournaments], I would always watch the Auckland teams and even the Wellington teams and just think, 'wow, I want to be playing at that level'."
This drove Gordon to make the decision to move down to Auckland and complete her final two years of high school with Mt Albert Grammar School. After an initial tough period living away from home, Gordon continued to improve and started to look elsewhere in 2017 to see where she could move up the netball ladder quicker.
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An opportunity came up with the Central Manawa team in Wellington who play in New Zealand's regional netball competition, the Beko Netball League. In addition, Gordon was invited to become a training partner with the ANZ Premiership's Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse so she packed her bags and moved again.
While training with the Pulse in pre-season and starring in the Beko League, Gordon helped Central to a second consecutive competition win in 2018. She must have raised some eyebrows as just months after her move to Wellington, Gordon was offered a full contract to play for the Pulse in 2019.
"I had no clue, I just got a call one day asking to come into the office to have a chat and they offered me [a contract], it was very surprising."
While she was used as more of an impact player of the bench in her 109 minutes in 11 games for the Pulse in 2019, Gordon was exposed to the fast-paced environment of New Zealand's top netball competition. She continued her winning ways from 2018 as both Central and the Pulse won their respective competitions, Gordon having a hand in both.
And if a double-competition win wasn't enough excitement for the 19-year-old, Gordon was selected to represent her country with the New Zealand A team last week against Australia and England in Auckland.
Having achieved so many things in such a short space of time, Gordon was almost lost for words to describe the past two years.
"It's all just happened so fast and it was crazy because I wasn't expecting it at all."
Gordon originally went down to Wellington with plans to apply to Police College before her netball career took off. Now, playing with Silver Ferns Katrina Rore and Ameliaranne Ekenasio at the Pulse, Gordon was relishing the opportunity.
"I was pretty scared going into it because you didn't really know what to expect, but they were all so welcoming and all so supportive of each other which is cool," she said.'
"I didn't have much court time...but it was awesome just getting the court time I did and being a part of the team on court."
As for her future, Gordon had no plans on slowing down. The Netball World Youth Cup for under-21 players will be held in Fiji in 2021 and the Silver Ferns will be returning to the Netball World Cup in 2023 as defending champions.
While she accepted a World Cup spot in 2023 might be a bit far-fetched, Gordon was determined to continue moving up the netball ladder one step at a time, starting with the Pulse next season.
"I just need to keep being consistent, keep doing what I'm doing and hopefully that will be good enough."