Mother's Day netball a special moment for Giants' Bec Bulley

Just a few years ago Bec Bulley thought her professional netball days were over. Having retired from the game to start a family in 2015, she was ready to enter the next phase of her life. But three years on, the Giants defender is preparing for her most special netball game yet.

Running out for her 20th Giants start on Sunday against the NSW Swifts, Bulley can't wait to play on Mother's Day with her two-year-old daughter Indi watching on from the stands.

"Mother's Day is a very special day and I don't think I realised until I became a mum," Bulley tells ESPN. "To go out on the court to play elite netball and have my daughter there watching is something special, and I'm really excited.

"There's only, I think, three mums playing in the Suncorp Super Netball, so there's not many mums that have returned to the sport at the level, so I am really proud of my achievements and it will be extra special on Sunday, playing on Mother's Day."

In her second season with the Giants, Bulley says her comeback wasn't without its struggles. It was an adjustment she was happy to make however as she now has a greater balance to her life.

"When I came back, it wasn't easy. I turned up to training and I'd go sit in the cubicle and breastfeed Indi -- she was about five months old when I came back -- and then I'd go to training, finish training and then I'd go back breast feed again before we'd drive home," she tells ESPN.

"But it was such a good balance; that time that I got to myself was also the time that I got to run around and exercise and then the rest of the day was spent being a mum to a beautiful little girl. It was fantastic.

"At the end of the game -- win, lose or draw -- Indi's happy to see me. I guess before [retirement] netball was my main priority, but it's not like that anymore. Indi's definitely my main priority and netball's just something I love to do, but also it's still a very important part of my life."

From a young age Bulley spent weekends sitting on the sideline watching her mum and sister play netball. Now, the cycle continues with Indi sitting on the sideline watching her mum train and play for the Giants. Netball is truly a family affair for the Bulley clan.

"It's a little bit different now - my mum had me when she was 22, so I still remember watching her play before she was 30, whereas now I'm obviously a little bit older -- I'm 35 and Indi's only two," she says.

"But I've always wanted to encourage Indi to grow up playing sport and I think I'm really privileged that she can see her mum play netball at this elite level. Hopefully she's proud of her mum, I know she loves going to training and coming to the games."

Family has always been important for the 35-year-old. Growing up in Bendigo, her parents spent hours watching Bec and her older sister play, and just as many hours driving the two girls to games. Their support over the years never went unnoticed, and Bulley now hopes to take on a similar supporting role for her daughter.

"We grew up in country Victoria and family was definitely very important to us," Bulley says. "Family is what motivates you to go out and play and do well, because you want to make your family proud. When things are getting tough and you're getting a little bit tired, that's my extra motivation, I think 'my family are here watching me, I want them to be proud and to be happy'.

"The biggest role that my parents played [while growing up] was always supporting me and my sister; they supported both of us. They were never the parents there pushing us, they were always there saying 'you're doing well'.

"No matter what Indi chooses to do, I just want to do the same for her, support her, always be there for her and just encourage her. It doesn't matter if she doesn't play elite sport, as long as she's fit and healthy, I'll be happy."

It may still be a few years before Indi takes to the court herself, but Bulley admitted she couldn't wait to follow in her mum's footsteps and be Indi's first netball coach; maybe even one day give Indi a sibling to join her backyard training sessions like Bulley had all those years ago.

"I can't wait [to watch her play]. I really enjoy coaching netball, so I really hope she takes up netball," Bulley says. "I'd love to coach her, like my mum was my first coach. I have lots of memories of being out in the backyard with my mum and my sister; my mum being the passer, my sister the attacker and I was the defender. It used to get quite competitive actually.

"I think in the near future we'd like to have another baby. Hopefully things work out and it happens. Fingers crossed.

"But, I hope she [Indi] does play and I hope to one day look back and share our time together as part of the Giants. She really is a part of the team, too."