Reigning Australian netballer of the year Gretel Bueta, nee Tippett, is set to miss the entire 2020 season after announcing her pregnancy.
The news caps a remarkable 12 months for the Diamonds and Queensland Firebirds goal attack, who claimed the Liz Ellis Diamond award in November after a stellar 2019 season.
She married husband Niko in March and they are preparing for the arrival of their first child in January.
Bueta won't be playing in the Super Netball season starting next month but she will still be involved with the Firebirds' campaign, with coach Roselee Jencke keen to have her assistance.
"Niko and I are so excited there is a new addition coming to our family and really grateful for the way in which the club has embraced our news," Bueta said.
"I might not be taking the court this year but I'll still be with the girls every step of the way and am excited to mentor the young shooters and be another set of eyes for Rose."
Jencke welcomed the news.
"The Queensland Firebirds is a family club to its very core, and we are thrilled for Gretel and Niko as they embark on this special journey together," Jencke said.
"While she may not take the court in 2020 Gretel will also remain an incredibly important part of our group, as her leadership and experience will no doubt be an invaluable asset across an unprecedented season."
"Gretel will have a seat next to me on the bench and continue to have the full support of our club throughout the year before we all welcome baby Bueta with open arms."
Australian Associated Press