Netball: Casey Kopua to retire at the end of this season

She's been a stalwart of New Zealand netball for nearly twenty years but 2019 will officially be Casey Kopua's last.

The Silver Ferns defender who came out of international retirement last year will retire from all levels at the end of the season.

Celebrating their 20th year as a franchise 2019 was always going to be special for the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic but now it's been made even more significant.

"So this next six months is the biggest six months for me cause after that, um yea - that's it," she said.

The only difference is this time it's for good.

"My mind is willing but my body isn't," she said.

Kopua's left an indelible mark on the sport in this country

She's won nearly everything there is in the game, two national titles an ANZ Championship, and two commonwealth golds.

Only a World Cup is missing from that list and it's what's driving her this year

"I knew that this would be the last sort of stint and for me i want to make my family a bit bigger and do something else."

Her departure will leave a huge hole in the game.

"I guess the way she brings the best out of other people I would say is her greatest strength." said Magic coach Amigene Metcalf

Kelly Jury's an example of that, being mentored by Kopua since she first arrived at the Magic five years ago.

"Casey Kopua's a Legend in New Zealand Netball," Jury said.

But Kopua's not ready to officially hand over the bib to her just yet.

There's a National and World Championship to win first.

"You want to send her out on a high as well," Jury said. "You want to make it worth her while coming back."

The Magic and Silver Ferns will be looking to give Kopua the sendoff she deserves.