WATCH: Silver Ferns shooter Monica Falkner talks about the pain of losing her dad, then fighting back from injury in part three of Pure As.

Monica Falkner knows her dad, David, would have shed tears watching her finally play for the Silver Ferns against England last year – after five harrowing years. 

In the latest episode of Pure As, the mini-documentary series from Netball New Zealand, Falkner talks about losing her father – who brought her up alone for the first 10 years, and died of brain cancer in 2015. Then as her netball career was taking off, the young shooter ruptured her ACL and took 15 months to return to the game. 

Growing up on a farm in the valley of Matahai, in Whakatāne, Falkner was her dad’s sidekick. She came home from Hamilton for the last months of his life, and put netball on the backburner.

On her return, she quickly made her mark trialling with the Magic, making the 2017 World Youth Cup team and winning the world title.

She reveals how tough it was being in the Silver Ferns side, but spending seven games on the bench without playing. And then even tougher, injuring her knee and taking longer than expected to get back on court. 

She knows her dad would have been emotional seeing her make her Silver Ferns debut against England last October.

“In that moment, I think he would have been so proud. Every day I think about it, and I’m really sad he never got to see this part of my career – it’s what I was aiming for, for so long,” she says. 

The 2021 edition of Netball NZ’s highly successful Pure As series takes fans on a new journey, with five episodes showing the incredible stories of individuals from across netball’s wider high performance system.

Last year’s inaugural series was an instant hit with fans, with more than 1.5 million organic video views and a global reach of four million.

You can watch the first episode, with Cat Tuivaiti, here, and episode two with NZ Men’s captain Kruze Tangira here.

All episodes will be launched with an exclusive first watch through shown on LockerRoom every Tuesday and Saturday.

Suzanne McFadden, the 2021 Voyager Media Awards Sports Journalist of the Year, founded LockerRoom, dedicated to women's sport.

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