Kalifa McCollin - The Dragon

Kalifa McCollin - The Dragon

10 Feb 20

Celtic Dragons Player, Trinidad and Tobago International and Gilbert Netball ambassador.

Ask most netballers about Kalifa McCollin and they will tell you that she's a good singer and a self-proclaimed comedian. They will also tell you that this player is the personification of consistency.

She started her Netball Superleague career with Celtic Dragons in 2016, and later moved to Benecos Mavericks. Her professional career went from strength to strength with the club, but what prompted the return to Celtic Dragons? "When I left, my only thoughts were for growth and a new environment. After my second season with the Benecos Mavericks, I had decided that I’d return 'home'. The team [Celtic Dragons] had an entirely different look, we had players from Fiji as well as the England set-up and Jamaica and we were positioned to give the top teams a real run for their money. By the end of that season we had placed 7th, which was a massive improvement, and to top it off, I was named player of the season by the Celtic Dragons and Vitality placed me in the All Star 7 as the best Goal Attack in the league. I was honoured, and quite pleased, to know that my hard work was recognized throughout the season."

Shortly after this show-stopping season, Kalifa got the call to play in the Trinidad and Tobago international line up, an honour for any athlete, but could her success in the Superleague translate out on to the world stage? "I returned home to be with the Trinidad and Tobago National team and preparations had already begun for the Netball World Cup. I had one month to familiarise myself with some of the new players and the sets that were being taught, training and match play were a bit of a task as I had just completed a very tough Superleague season, but I still pushed because I knew the Netball World Cup would be no easy feat. It was my second World Cup and I was extremely excited. In 2015 I finished the competition with a 92% shooting average and this time around my shooting partner, Sammy Wallace and I were named as one of the best shooting duos in the competition. I always try to maintain a high shooting accuracy and that consistently showed as I managed to score 100% in two matches. I think I can walk away from this year’s World Cup knowing that I gave my best for my country."

So what's next for this grafter of a Gilbert Girl? Stick or twist? "Moving Is always difficult, especially when your teammates are much more than that – they’re my family, we're like sisters. I had been in discussions with a few franchises from different leagues, but my heart kept leading me back to the Dragons. In the end, I had a sit-down with my agent and discussed what it is that I really want to do with my netball career and eventually I put my big girl boots on and signed with Southern Steel in New Zealand. I said to myself, 'good things happen outside of your comfort zone.'"

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