“The thing that stood out the most was her athleticism and I just remember her leading into the goal circle, taking these massive drives in, taking the ball beautifully and just turning and shooting,” netball legend, Sharelle McMahon recalls of Philip’s first training session with the team.
Making her debut in Round 5 of the 2010 season against the Northern Mystics, Philip recalls how fellow goaler, Caitlin Thwaites, helped her ease into the game.
“I remember coming on with a couple of minutes to go and Caity Thwaites telling me before I came on that the first penalty shot, I’m taking it,” Philip recalls.
“Then I remember stepping out onto court, realising how bright it was from the TV lights and then actually telling myself what to do.”
“It was exactly what Caity said – she got a penalty, put the ball down and let me take my shot, and I got it in – thank goodness!”
In her first glimpse of elite netball, Philip scored the first three goals of her 2,102 to date in the Vixens dress.
Philip continued her career with the Melbourne Vixens, forming a formidable combination with fellow goaler, Karyn Bailey.
Her 2014 netball season was one to remember, making her Australian Diamonds debut and winning gold at the Commonwealth Games.
With the Vixens, 2014 saw the club claim the ANZ Championship premiership, and Philip named Grand Final MVP.
“2014 was and still is a really special year for me in terms of my netball career and one that I will always been appreciative of and never forget,” Philip said.
“We had an awesome team with the Vixens and really wanted to make the most of the opportunity that we had and take that all the way, and that’s what we did.
“I still remember that game, Cath Cox crying towards the end because it was her last game and she couldn’t see while she was shooting.”
Not without her setbacks, Philip had an ankle reconstruction in 2012 following the season, and a knee reconstruction in the 2016 pre-season, meaning she missed the entire year of netball.
“My rehab and recovery went really well. I had a little hiccup with my hamstring where we took the graft from but overcame that.
“I was lucky enough to be back on court at the start of pre-season with all the other girls and I wasn’t doing my own thing on the sideline and having to play catch-up.”
Her comeback from that knee injury was in the first round of Suncorp Super Netball last year and resulted in a best-on-court performance in her first game back.
“I remember all I wanted to do was nail my first shot,” Philip said.
“I did that, and I remember smiling and then I was good to go for the rest of the game.”
Teammate and Vixens captain, Kate Moloney also remembers Philip’s return to the court.
“I’ve never seen anyone work as hard as she did in her rehab,” Moloney said.
“She did absolutely everything she possible could to get back out on court, and to come back better than she left the game is an absolute credit to her and the work she did.”
Moloney, who has played with Tegan for six years, also attested to her co-vice-captain’s leadership style – leading by example at training and on game day.
“Teags is one of the best teammates. She’s the first player at training to be at the post shooting, she works extremely hard when we’re on court and as a teammate you definitely walk taller knowing you’ve got someone like Tegan running out there with you.”
Along with her natural playing talent and strong work ethic, Philip’s personality shines through to her teammates and support staff.
“Tegan’s got such a great personality. She’s bubbly with a great giggle that just makes you laugh,” McMahon said.
“She is also very driven. She prepares well, is strong, fit and puts in a lot of time and effort.
“She wants to get the best out of herself and her teammates and has really grown into that leadership role over the seasons.”
Celebrate Tegan’s 100th game this Sunday, 22 July at Hisense Arena as the Vixens take on the GIANTS. Get your tickets here