Tag: jhaniele fowler

Melbourne Double Header to open 2020 Suncorp Super Netball season

A DOUBLE header at Melbourne Arena on Saturday, May 2 will open the 2020 Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) season.

The huge first round of action sees a number of tantalising clashes, with back-to-back matches in Victoria and a Grand Final rematch the next day. The round begins with Melbourne Vixens taking on last year’s wooden spooners Queensland Firebirds with Kate Eddy potentially making her Vixens’ debut, while Ine-Mari Venter could line-up against her old side.

In the second game, Collingwood Magpies host West Coast Fever with the Fever retaining its 2019 list, while the Magpies will be looking to youth following pregnancy departures of April Brandley and Kim Ravaillion. New Magpies’ recruit Jodi-Ann Ward will potentially line-up in the same circle as Jamaican teammate, Jhaniele Fowler in the clash.

The early afternoon game on Sunday is a grand final rematch between NSW Swifts and Sunshine Coast Lightning. Both these teams have remained fairly stable from their successful 2019 seasons, though the Lightning will be keen to seek some early revenge on the reigning premiers. The reigning premiers will no doubt want to celebrate their premiership against the team they conquered.

In the final game of the round, Adelaide Thunderbirds host GIANTS Netball, with the Thunderbirds likely to have a very different goal circle given the inclusion of Lenize Potgieter and the departure of Maria Folau. The GIANTS are fairly similar to the year before, but will miss Kim Green who retired at the end of the season.

The remainder of the SSN fixture will be released on Friday.

Draft Central 2019 Netball Power Rankings: Top 15

AFTER a busy year of international netball and domestic competitions such as Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) and ANZ Premiership, we cast an eye over who our top 15 netballers in the world are based purely on 2019 form. The list is composed of five defenders, shooters and midcourters. This is purely an opinion based piece, taking into consideration the players we perceive to have the greatest impact on court.

1. Karla Pretorius – GD

The South African goal defence is arguably the best in the world with her impressive speed and netball nous. She can turn a game on its head with a single intercept and consistently wears her opponents out with her defensive pressure and impeccable timing. She had a stellar SSN season with 69 intercepts, highlighting her ability to influence the game time and time again. Pretorius is renowned for her intense pressure across all areas of the court and nice lean over the shot to cause doubt in the opposition’s mind.

2. Laura Langman – C

Langman is like a fine wine, constantly getting better with age and able to win a match off her own individual performance. Her endurance and sheer netball smarts sets her a world apart from her opponents, able to manoeuvre her way around the court seamlessly and have an impact on and off the ball. Both her offensive and defensive work is impeccable, able to pick up timely intercepts (16) and deflections (33) during the SSN season, while also plying her trade in the attacking end with her carefully crafted passes into the goal circle.

3. Gretel Tippett – GA

The Australian Diamonds and Queensland Firebirds goal attack is one of a kind. Her silky movement across the court turns heads while her unpredictability causes headaches for opposition teams. Tippett does not take a backwards step, fighting hard for prime position under the post while using her speed and strength to outmuscle opponents. Her aerial ability is impressive, able to reel in errant passes, and her footwork enables her to edge closer to the post. her accuracy has increased in leaps and bounds with 394 goals from 411 attempts throughout the SSN season, sitting at 96 per cent accuracy.

4. Katrina Rore – WD/GD/GK

The Silver Ferns defender has stood up to the challenge more times than not and has proven that she can have an impact no matter where she is on the court. Her versatility and long reach make her incredibly tough to match up on, able to apply a mountain-load of pressure throughout the course of a game. She oozes class and experience and can sense the moment to take a game changing intercept or deflection, with 33 intercepts and 77 deflections in the ANZ Premiership alone.

5. Liz Watson – WA/C

Watson is one of the world’s best wing attacks with her strength a key element of her game play. Although she is not the speediest player on court, her timing is undeniable along with her play-making ability and vision, amassing a whopping 430 goal assists during the SSN season. Her hustle for prime position on the circle edge is an essential part of her gameplay while her ball placement is clever and precise.

6. Maria Folau – GS/GA

Renowned as the long bomb specialist, Folau can turn a game on its head within a blink of an eyelid thanks to her accuracy, lovely shot and confidence. She is not afraid to back herself from range while her footwork and general netball smarts are second to none, able to flick the ball around and reposition with ease. She is the go to girl when the going gets tough, able to withstand the pressure and think her way through the defence.

7. Jane Watson – GK/GD

The Silver Ferns defender went from strength to strength both on an international and domestic level. Her timing is a key feature of her game, with an ability to judge when to leap for a rebound or race for an intercept. Watson is composed under pressure and can shut down an opponent with her smothering pressure and clever movement around the body to limit goal circle entry. She racked up 40 intercepts and 96 deflections throughout her ANZ Premiership campaign, highlighting her tenacity and skill.

8. Serena Guthrie – C

Guthrie’s athletic prowess is simply undeniable, constantly springing into action and throwing her body on the line to win a ball or take a flying intercept. She is a real energiser bunny, able to control the midcourt with her movement through the middle third in particular. Her ball placement into the circle is pinpoint, able to slice through the defence with her carefully crafted passes.

9. Ash Brazill – WD/C

The wing defence turned centre well and truly announced herself this season, both on the international stage and domestic level at SSN. She stood up when the Magpies needed her, slotting into centre and taking full advantage of her athletic traits such as her leap and high endurance base. Brazill backs herself in the contest, hunting any cross-court ball that comes her way and applies a mountain load of pressure on circle edge to block the feeder’s vision.

10. Geva Mentor – GK

Mentor continues to get better as time goes on, using her footwork to cleanly get around the body of opponents and read the play to pick off passes coming into the defensive third. Her intimidating lean over the shot creates doubt in the goalers’ minds while her ability to read the play and take intercepts is highly impressive, able to repel the ball from streaming down the court. Her on-court leadership is integral to her style of play, relishing the opportunity to lead from the front but struggled to maintain a four quarter presence at times throughout the year.

11. Lenize Potgieter – GS

Despite her unconventional shooting style, the South African goaler is accurate to post and able to score freely if given enough time and space. She is a clever mover, able to exploit free space in the goal circle and use her footwork to edge closer to the post. Potgieter is an impact player able to command the ball and convert even when under pressure, as seen throughout the ANZ Premiership slotting 596 goals at 90 per cent. Although she is not fond of the body work and physicality Potgieter stood up to the challenge for the SPAR Proteas and Southern Steel.

12. Shamera Sterling – GK

The dynamic defender is an excitement machine. Her athletic prowess knows no end, able to get up ridiculously high to intercept passes or deflect the ball. Her lanky arms and deceptive speed took the SSN by storm, racking up a season-high 120 deflections and 68 intercepts. She can really spark a side into action with her read of the play and while she is only slight in stature she can hold her own to gobble up rebounds but will have to adjust her temperament to have a continued impact.

13. Courtney Bruce – GK/GD

Bruce was ravaged with injury throughout 2019, but proved to be an impact player when fit, able to tear a game wide open with her dynamic movement, strength and hunt for the ball. Renowned for her physicality she can be costly at times giving the ball away but the defender is a real barometer for her side given her on-court leadership, impressive lean over the shot and injection of speed.

14. Caitlin Bassett – GS

Captain of the Australian Diamonds, Bassett is one of the most consistent performers under the post at both an international and domestic level however she struggled to hit her straps until late into the season. Returning from a wrist injury, Bassett took some time to warm up and capture her dominant form however her composed nature and clever footwork along the goal line is highly impressive to watch. Her strength under the post steadily developed since returning from injury, making her a key target in the circle for the Diamonds and GIANTS.

15. Jhaniele Fowler – GS

The towering Jamaican goal shooter has proven that she is hard to stop if given time and space. Her height is unrivalled with many defenders unable to match her in the air while her accuracy under the post is highly commendable, hardly missing a shot in 2019 and converting 709 goals from 753 attempts at 94 per cent. Although she does not stray far from underneath the post which can be seen as her weakness at times, Fowler is a commanding presence who is all but a surety with ball in hand.

With only 15 spots available it was a tricky decision to leave out the likes of Jo Harten, Ameliaranne Ekenasio and Paige Hadley after all three players had an impressive season for both their country and domestic club.

Jo Harten – GS/GA

The England Roses shooter did not have the same impact as previous seasons but was still reliable to post, backing herself from anywhere in the circle and using her timing to pose a dominant threat under the ring. She showcased her versatility, switching between goal shooter and attack across competitions and can be a real playmaker with her impressive vision and netball sense to place the ball to the advantage of her teammates.

Ameliaranne Ekenasio – GA/GS

The talented goaler left no stone unturned this year, able to have an influence across the court with her gliding movement and accuracy to post. She was unfazed by the pressure, rocking back on the shot and showcasing her composure to create clever plays across the court.

Paige Hadley – C/WA

The talented midcourter narrowly missed out after a strong 2019 SSN campaign, with her game sense and strength on full display. She lifted her intensity running hard both defensively and offensively making her a key cog in attack, relishing the extra space she found playing in centre as opposed to her regular position of wing attack.

2019 British Fast5 All-Stars Championships preview

ONE of the biggest days on the Netball Superleague calendar is here, with the 2019 British Fast5 All-Stars Championships taking place at London’s Copper Box Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Eight of the ten Superleague teams take part in the tournament, with a number of big name players from across the globe taking part in the competition. The tournament will see five-a-side 12 minute matches, with one, two and five-point scoring ranges. Teams each receive a two minute power play per match, which must be used in the first 10 minutes of the match.

It is the Dragons’ inaugural Fast5 appearance this year, having not made the cut in prior seasons. This will be one final farewell for retiring Kyra Jones, with the midcourter putting on the green dress one last time before officially putting down the netball. Each side is given the opportunity to recruit two “all-star” players from across the world, making it a world-class event for all involved and bringing some much-deserved attention to the competition. While some sides in Manchester Thunder and Severn Stars have opted to bring in the big guns with the likes of Australian goaler Erin Bell and New Zealand defender Leana De Bruin joining the fray from across the pond, Loughborough Lightning and Team Bath have looked local with exceptional local talent returning to the Superleague competition in long bomb star Jo Harten and speedy defender Stacey Francis. Meanwhile, Saracens Mavericks have a massive boost with key goaler Jhaniele Fowler stepping up to the plate. Meanwhile, teams the likes of Surrey Storm and Wasps Netball have stayed relatively close to home, keeping a similar lineup to their 2019/2020 regular seasons. Wasps will look to go one step further than their 2019 Superleague campaign and back up their 2018 Fast5 effort with another victory.

FAST5 ALL-STARS GROUP FIXTURES:

Match 1: Wasps Netball vs Severn Stars
Match 2: Manchester Thunder vs Loughborough Lightning
Match 3: Team Bath vs Celtic Dragons
Match 4: Surrey Storm vs Saracens Mavericks

Match 5: Winner 1 vs Winner 2 | Winner advances to semi-final 2
Match 6: Winner 3 vs Winner 4 | Winner advances to semi-final 1

Match 7: Loser 1 vs. Loser 2
Match 8: Loser 3 vs. Loser 4

Match 9: Loser 5 vs. Winner 7 | Winner advances to semi-final 1
Match 10: Loser 6 vs. Winner 8 | Winner advances to semi-final 2

British Fast5 All-Star draw announced

REIGNING Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) champions, Manchester Thunder will face 2018 runners-up Loughborough Lightning in what is expected to be one of the classic first round matches in the British Fast5 All-Star draw which was announced today. The competition is a double-elimination style, with two wins guaranteeing a semi-final berth, while two losses eliminates teams from the competition. The four teams which will sit at 1-1 after the two rounds will then face-off for the remaining two spots in the semi-finals.

The All-Star matches features a number of talented international stars, with the likes of Jamaican goal shooter and West Coast Fever star Jhaniele Fowler, England Roses and GIANTS Netball shooter Jo Harten and former Australian Diamonds shooter Erin Bell, all competing in the tournament. Aside from the Thunder-Lightning match, the three other matches see 2019 grand finalists, Wasps Netball taking on Severn Stars, while Team Bath meet Celtic Dragons, and Surrey Storm facing off against Saracens Mavericks.

The games will be shown via Sky Sports and get underway on Saturday, October 12. Keep your eyes out for a full preview later in the week.

British Fast5 All-Star draw:

Wasps Netball v Severn Stars
Manchester Thunder v Loughborough Lightning
Team Bath v Celtic Dragons
Surrey Storm v Saracens Mavericks

Suncorp Super Netball: 2019 Awards season wrap

WITH both the Suncorp Super Netball officially over and award season done and dusted we look at which players took out the Most Valuable Player award at each club and their 2019 season.

Adelaide Thunderbirds: Maria Folau

The New Zealand Silver Ferns recruit had a huge influence on the Adelaide Thunderbirds leading from the front with her strong intent, accuracy to post and silky movement across the court. She proved to be a real general in the attack end controlling the flow and ball movement while also setting up plays to keep her side within striking distance. Folau offered plenty of leadership and was composed under pressure finishing the season with 331 goals.

Collingwood Magpies: Geva Mentor

After crossing from Sunshine Coast Lightning, Mentor did not skip a beat with the talented defender putting up a wall in defence and applying her signature pressure. The England Roses international displayed her class to cleanly get around the body of her opponent and force turnovers with her hands over pressure. Her timing and ability to read the play was vital to Collingwood’s success with the defender finishing with 33 rebounds, 86 deflections and 40 intercepts.

GIANTS Netball: Jo Harten

The English international maintained her hot form taking out the GIANTS MVP award after once again plying her trade in goals. Harten was cool, calm and collected carving up the court with her movement, drives and vision to open up the circle. Her ability to switch up her game plan from a holding shooter to a moving goaler is impressive and caused headaches for opposition sides. Harten finished the season with 302 goals from 376 attempts along with 142 assists credit to her ever growing partnership with Caitlin Bassett.

Melbourne Vixens: Emily Mannix

After a relatively quiet start to the season Mannix well and truly hit her straps in the latter half of the year upping the defensive pressure and leading the backend with her attacking mentality. The goal keeper did not take a backwards step throwing herself at every cross court ball and using her lean over the shot to worry her opponents out of going for goal. Mannix racked up 45 intercepts, 61 deflections and 14 rebounds to cap off her stellar season.

NSW Swifts: Sam Wallace

The Trinidad and Tobago goal shooter took her game up a level this season letting her laid back nature do the talking. Wallace was influential under the post for the Swifts oozing composure and class to take the ball in confined spaces and capitalising on her opportunities with 648 goals from 695 attempts. She used her silky footwork to edge closer to the post and stood up in the big matches when called upon.

Sunshine Coast Lightning: Karla Pretorius

In another exceptional season, Pretorius reigned supreme notching up her second Player of the Year credit to her tenacious nature and uncanny ability to win the ball back for her side. The goal defence went about her business using her speed and go-go gadget arms to full advantage picking up 69 intercepts, 72 deflections and 12 rebounds.

West Coast Fever: Jhaniele Fowler

The Jamaican goal shooter was the shining light for West Coast who struggled to live up to the hype of last year. She at times single handily won them games thanks to her commanding presence under the post, accuracy and volume. Fowler used her netball smarts to position well in the circle and win one on one battles with the defenders nailing 709 goals from 753 attempts at a staggering 94 per cent while also picking up 44 rebounds.

Queensland Firebirds: Gretel Tippett

Although it was a disappointing year for the Firebirds, Tippett took complete ownership across the court with her unpredictable nature, attacking flair and explosiveness. Renowned for her unorthodox style, Tippett went to a whole other level in season 2019 taking the lead in the attacking third and highlighting her accuracy to post with 394 goals from 411 attempts at 96 per cent. Her efforts under the post were equally matched by her work up the court notching up a massive 325 centre pass receives along with 130 assists to round out an incredible season.

2019 SSN season team review: West Coast Fever

COMING off a 2018 grand final defeat, the West Coast Fever were brought back down to earth in 2019, unable to reach the heights of the previous season and only notching up two wins for the year. The Fever’s successful game style from 2018 was worked out, with the West Australian side unable to get their signature ball movement up and running for four quarters consistently and impose themselves on the contest.

Position: 6th
Percentage: 90.82%
Win-loss: 2-3-9

Overview:

It was a disappointing season for last years grand finalists, with the Fever only managing two wins while also playing out three draws, unlucky at times to have not come away with the four points. The Fever had an inconsistent year at best with captain Courtney Bruce forced to the bench for large chunks of the season. Her presence was sorely missed in the defensive end with the likes of Stacey Francis, Shannon Eagland and Olivia Lewis forced to carry the load down back. Lewis showed plenty of promise, standing up to the occasion and backing herself, while up the other end Jhaniele Fowler continued on her merry way with a season best 709 goals to to the Super Netball leaderboard once more. With Nat Medhurst departing the club, the goal attack role chopped and changed between Alice Teague-Neeld and Kaylia Stanton with the side struggling to find consistency. Through the midcourt Verity Charles, Ingrid Colyer and Jess Anstiss had moments of magic but also went missing for large parts of 2019, but when on song proved hard to stop with their speed and solid connections.

Shining light:

While 198cm shooter Fowler provided a commanding presence under the post for the Fever, reining in passes with ease and taking full control in the attacking third. Fowler showcased her versatility, shaking up her usual holding style to come out of the circle and allow Teague-Neeld or Stanton to drive into the ring. Her strength and body positioning under the post was key for Fever throughout the season, reeling in errant passes and using her footwork to get to the loose ball.

2020 predictions:

Despite having an off-season, Anstiss still has plenty to offer with the young wing defence filled with plenty of potential. She will look to recapture her dominant form from last year that saw her side rise up the ladder and put her name on the map. Known for her defensive pressure, smothering movement and ability to clog up space, Anstiss could be a force to be reckoned with come 2020.

2019 Suncorp Super Netball Team of the Year

THE 2019 Draft Central Suncorp Super Netball Team of the Year is here, featuring 10 key players from across seven of the eight SSN sides. Despite a mostly successful season, GIANTS Netball is the only club with out at least one representative, while the only sides with more than one player featured in the side are fittingly Grand Finalists, NSW Swifts and Sunshine Coast Lightning.

GK: Shamera Sterling (Adelaide Thunderbirds)

The Thunderbirds may not have won many games this season, but when they did often it was well and truly off the back of Shamera Sterling’s defensive pressure in the goal circle. The young defender may not have the experience to control games the way Geva Mentor can, but it’s her ability to impact the contest and provide a surprising element down back that forces teams to think about every single feed heading into the goal circle. While it can be argued Sterling got a large volume of turnover ball because the side was losing and their opposition occasionally got lazy with feeds, full credit still goes to Sterling for regularly being that star player the Thunderbirds needed to spark the side into action. Her hands over pressure, rebounding ability and deceptively quick footwork found her with the loose ball time and time again, finishing off the season leading the defensive rebounds tally (35), deflections (120) and second for intercepts (68).

GD: Karla Pretorius (Sunshine Coast Lightning)

While Sterling pipped Karla Pretorius to the post to a number of defensive stats this season, Pretorius proved to be a key player for the Sunshine Coast Lightning yet again, sitting in first for intercepts (69) and being the stalwart defender every side aspires to have. Pretorius’ ability to confuse the space and find the loose ball was second to none, consistent to a tee and conceding less penalties than many of her defensive counterparts – sitting in 12th overall for penalties (166), almost 100 less than fellow Lightning defender Phumza Maweni with 261. It’s Pretorius’ speed that catches her opponents off guard, with a quick takeoff and impressive aerial ability seeing her find plenty of turnover ball, often phasing her opponent out of the game altogether. While Pretorius’ impact inside the circle impressed, it was her ability to speed the ball back up the court that gave her the edge over the rest of the competition, providing a constant threat across the court.

WD: Ash Brazill (Collingwood Magpies)

Apart from a stellar few weeks in the centre bib, Ash Brazill was by and large the most impressive and consistent wing defence in the competition this season. Her versatility was key, finding the ball anywhere across the court and propelling it back down to provide a massive threat both through the defensive and middle thirds. It is Brazill’s athletic ability that finds her in the side, with dominant performances week in and week out and one of the most consistent players in the Magpies line-up. Brazill’s ability to provide hands over pressure as well as the excitement of circle edge intercepts found her one of the most watched players on court, ultimately finding enough turnover ball to push her side into a finals campaign. Brazill finished up the season with 18 intercepts and 68 deflections, getting hands to plenty of ball and putting doubt in attackers minds with her speed, anticipation and netball smarts.

C: Laura Langman (Sunshine Coast Lightning)

Laura Langman’s ability to play both the defensive and attacking game was second to none in 2019, providing the spark the Lightning needed to turn the tides and come from behind on a number of occasions. Langman’s speed, agility and strength moving down the court proves why she is one of the most effective midcourters in the world. The Lightning captain worked seamlessly with her side this season, not skipping a beat after missing the 2018 season and continuously putting on exceptional performances to lead her side to a minor premiership finish. Her consistency makes her a constant threat both on circle edge feeding into her attackers and deflecting through defence, with bullet passes and aerial ability to boot. Langman’s defensive and attacking prowess was clear during the season, racking up 246 goal assists from 512 feeds as well as 16 intercepts and 34 deflections.

WA: Liz Watson (Melbourne Vixens)

Similar to Pretorius, it was unquestionably Liz Watson who was the most dominant and consistent wing attack all season. Even after coming back from the Netball World Cup, Watson continued her exceptional form to be the number one for goal assists in 2019 with 430 from 627 feeds, proving an impressive ability to find circle edge and feed to the advantage of her goalers. Watson also collected a whopping 376 centre pass receives, sitting in second on the leaderboard, along with nine intercepts and 28 deflections across 16 games, proving that along with her attacking skill she has the ability to turn the ball over to advantage. While Watson’s speed and footwork is impressive, it’s her ability to spot her goalers at the post and shoot lightning-quick passes into the goal circle that make her key to both the Vixens and Australian Diamonds lineups.

GA: Gretel Tippett (Queensland Firebirds)

Unconventional goal attack Gretel Tippett had the season of her career in 2019, keeping the Firebirds in most games even when everything seemed to be thrown against them. Tippett’s accuracy and volume rocketed this season, shooting 394 goals from 411 attempts at 96 per cent accuract for the season, proving time and time again that she has the star power and excitement to change the game. Her daring style of play makes her a constant threat, using her height to find the ball with ease and challenge every defender she comes across. Tippett finished third in the competition for centre pass receives (325) credit to her speed off the mark while also showcasing her versatility, switching up her play style when required to make a seamless transition for every challenge the Firebirds faced, coming out the other side as one of the most consistent goalers in the competition.

GS: Sam Wallace (NSW Swifts)

Sam Wallace was one of the most consistent goal shooters in season 2019, flying under the radar but putting up solid performances every round to be the stalwart option at the post for the Swifts. She upped her game this season, finding more volume and accuracy than prior seasons, shooting 648 goals from 695 attempts at 93 per cent accuract – a whopping 233 goals more than her 2018 season. Wallace was also awarded the coveted Grand Final Player of the Match, dominating at the post against the defensive calibre of the Sunshine Coast Lightning and taking advantage of every ball fed her way. The goal shooter only picked up 18 penalties across 17 games proving her cleanliness with both ball in hand and with hands over pressure, while her aerial ability came to the forefront this season to ensure ball in hand at the post.

BENCH: Sarah Klau (NSW Swifts), Paige Hadley (NSW Swifts), Jhaniele Fowler (West Coast Fever)

While all three of these players had impressive seasons, they unfortunately fell short with their respective counterparts taking the top spot. Sarah Klau dominated in season 2019, finding enough ball to generate a much deserved Australian Diamonds selection and elevation, credit to her cleanliness with both ball in hand and on the body. Klau’s speed saw her find plenty of turnover ball, while her ability to find and mark her opposition created opportunities to generate some of the flair and excitement the Swifts have lacked over the past few seasons. Paige Hadley is another who came out of her shell in 2019, forging ahead early in the season to snap up a recall into the Diamonds. While Hadley started the season in wing attack, she well and truly made the centre bib her own after Maddy Proud went down to injury, finding plenty of the ball around the circle in attack and relishing the extra space when going down court to defence, putting on the accelerator to generate turnovers. Jhaniele Fowler may not have had the same impact as her 2018 campaign, however she well and truly carried the Fever through rocky patches despite at times carrying an injury of her own. Her height, accuracy and volume make her a formidable opponent in the ring, plucking the ball out of the air and rebounding with ease.

While these three players were selected for the Draft Central bench, a number of other players staked their claim during the season with the likes of Kate Moloney Cara Koenen, Renae Ingles and Geva Mentor also thrown in the mix.

SSN Bottom 4: Team of the Year

WITH the GIANTS, Adelaide Thunderbirds, Queensland Firebirds and West Coast Fever all missing out on finals action we assembled a Team of the Year comprised only of bottom four team players. After narrowly missing out on finals, the GIANTS have four players named in the squad with Queensland, Adelaide and West Coast featuring two players apiece.

GK: Shamera Sterling (Adelaide Thunderbirds)

Sterling immediately found her feet in Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) setting records and posing a dominant threat in the defensive circle for Adelaide. She was not afraid to contest every ball that came her way while her aerial skills were second to none leading the way with 120 deflections, 68 intercepts and 35 rebounds. She was a lynchpin down in defence owning the circle with her timing, quick footwork and ability to read the play and impact the flow. She created plenty of hesitation on the feed and capitalised on her opportunities to get tips and deflections to help propel the ball back down the court.

GD: Layla Guscoth (Adelaide Thunderbirds)

Prior to rupturing her Achilles in the World Cup, Guscoth was instrumental for the Thunderbirds. She oozed plenty of experience and class with ball in hand to regain possession for her side with her commitment to the take impressive. Guscoth was key through the midcourt providing plenty of back-up play and help with transition down the court.

WD: Amy Parmenter (GIANTS Netball)

In her first season with the club Parmenter did not leave any stone unturned with the young wing defence putting her opposition through their paces. She showcased her speed off the mark and skill to get hands to ball time and time again for the GIANTS and while she started in centre she well and truly found her feet in at wing defence. Parmenter was key to the GIANTS defence end applying good hands over pressure and shadowing her opponent’s every move to limit easy access into the circle. Her transition down court was also a focal point of her game throughout the season providing that dynamic movement in the middle third.

C: Jamie-Lee Price (GIANTS Netball)

The switch up paid dividends with Price relishing the extra space across the court. the former wing defence made the move into centre for the GIANTS and has not looked back with her offensive work just as impressive as her defensive craft. Though she still has plenty to learn Price has shown that she is a game changer given her athletic ability and vision into the circle making her a real threat for opposition teams.

WA: Kim Green (GIANTS Netball)

In her last season, Green left nothing in the tank with the veteran putting on a show in the attacking third. Her commitment to the ball, strength and pin point precision passes are second to none often slicing through opposition defence. Her drives to the top of the circle were a key feature of her game along with her quick hands circle edge to feed the ball into the shooters.

GA: Gretel Tippett (Queensland Firebirds)

The Firebirds goal attack had a stellar 2019 season often steering the ship in attack. She was the first Australian to shoot 100 consecutive games at national level highlighting the impressive nature of her season. Tippett well and truly lifted her load in attack and backed herself from range credit to her growing confidence and plethora of skills. Her sheer athleticism and attacking flair proved hard to stop once again in season 2019 with Tippett taking her game to new heights.

GS: Jhaniele Fowler (West Coast Fever)

Fowler was the mainstay for the Fever under the post with the Jamaican shooter leading all comers with a season high 709 goals. She was cool, calm and composed with ball in hand and while at times she was forced to change up her game play and come out the circle she relished the opportunity to add another string to her bow. Fowler used her strength to hold space close to post and showcased her aerial skills continuously throughout the season to reign in errant passes.

BENCH: Gabi Simpson (Queensland Firebirds), Caitlin Bassett (GIANTS), Courtney Bruce (West Coast Fever)

Simpson, Bassett and Bruce all played a huge role for their respective sides throughout 2019. Bruce missed large chunks of the season with an arm injury sustained early in the season and then a punctured lung. Although she had a relatively interrupted year she made the most of it when on court with her leadership and defensive prowess on full display. The Fever goal keeper notched up 77 deflections for her efforts displaying her ability to win ball back for her side. Sticking with the defensive element Simpson had a testing year with the Firebirds only managing the one win but led from the front. The Queensland wing defence worked tirelessly across the court to assist with transition while also applying strong defensive pressure to nullify her opponent earning herself a spot in the Draft Central Team of the Year. Australian Diamonds captain and GIANTS recruit Caitlin Bassett also left her mark on the competition with 492 goals. She adjusted her game play throughout the season working with English international Jo Harten with the two proving to be an ominous threat when on song.

GIANT victory but fall agonisingly short of finals berth

WITH a top four spot up for grabs, the GIANTS made the most of their opportunities to run out 10-goal victors against West Coast Fever (70-60). But they did not have it all their own way with Fever pushing them to their limits and ultimately knocking them out of finals contention by denying them all four bonus points. In her farewell game Kim Green left a remarkable legacy and drew upon every inch of her experience and class to spur her side on.

The Fever were determined to end their season on a high edging out to a three goal lead midway through the first term. Jamaican powerhouse, Jhaniele Fowler was on song early owning the goal circle with her height, athleticism and strength to wrestle the ball out of mid-air and slot it through the net with 16 goals straight. Alice Teague-Neeld had a hot start to the game for the Fever with her dynamic movement and ability to find Fowler with ease in the circle amassing a team-high seven goal assists for the opening term. Although she did not find the net only managing one goal for the quarter she did the little things well, driving hard into the circle and providing an option in the attacking third. In Courtney Bruce’s absence, youngster Olivia Lewis also left her mark on the game in the opening quarter getting hands to ball and reading the play exceptionally well to stifle the GIANTS movement in the circle picking up two deflections, one intercept and three deflections. For the GIANTS Kristiana Manu’a worked tirelessly to try and quell the influence of Teague-Neeld out the front while also dropping back on towering shooter, Fowler. But neither team could be separated going into the quarter time break with 17 goals apiece.

The GIANTS went bang in second quarter piling on a whopping 21 goals to 11. They were more composed with ball in hand while their connections down the court intensified finding each other on the drive and linking up with ease. The connection between both Jo Harten and Caitlin Bassett lifted with the two hard to stop credit to their sheer class and netball nous. Only three goals were missed between the two shooters with Bassett nailing 15 from 17 while Harten converted six of her seven shots. Retiree, Green had a vintage performance in the attacking third with her silky footwork, fight for the ball and bullet passes on full display. Green showed that she still had plenty to give in what was to be her final game with six goal assists along with two gains and two intercepts. With the wheels starting to fall off in the attacking third for the Fever, Stacey Marinkovich made a host of changes in the dying minutes of the quarter bringing on Kaylia Stanton and pushing Teague-Neeld out to wing attack but it was to no avail with the side unable to eat into the 10-goal margin heading into half time.

With another bonus point up for grabs the GIANTS made no mistake claiming their second for the game. Although the Fever upped their intensity across the court with Stacey Francis putting Harten through her paces thanks to her physical nature it was not enough to disrupt the GIANTS who were humming. Ingrid Colyer made her way back onto the court in wing attack for West Coast using her drive and speed to hit the circle edge but the placement of her feeds at time were a bit off allowing the likes of Sam Poolman and Manu’a to pick off passes and force turnovers. Stanton injected herself into the game nailing four goals from six attempts but lacked that drive and movement in the circle. For the GIANTS, Jamie-Lee Price turned on the afterburners picking up her work rate both in attack and defence. Price showcased her skill to win ball back with one gain and one intercept while also displaying her impressive vision into the circle with five goal assists. Amy Parmenter continued her blistering season covering Colyer’s every move and applying strong hands over pressure to regain possession for her side.

The Fever made the most of their opportunities in the last quarter to run out with a bonus point after an 18 goals to 16 term. Fowler proved unstoppable under the post once again, nailing another 16 goals from 17 attempts. Jess Anstiss lifted her work rate after a relatively quiet three quarters picking up a timely intercept and a gain. But in the end the GIANTS were just too strong holding on to their 10 goal lead. Fowler finished with 50 goals from 52 attempts at 96 percent both Stanton and Teague-Neeld converted five goals from seven attempts at 71 percent. Harten (23 from 29) and Bassett (47 from 50) were accurate to post helping to get the GIANTS over the line.

STARTING LINE-UP:

GIANTS Netball:

GS | Caitlin Bassett
GA | Jo Harten
WA | Kim Green
C | Jamie-Lee Price
WD | Amy Parmenter
GD | Kristiana Manu’a
GK | Sam Poolman

West Coast Fever:

GS | Jhaniele Fowler
GA | Alice Teague-Neeld
WA | Ingrid Colyer
C | Verity Charles
WD | Jess Anstiss
GD | Stacey Francis
GK | Olivia Lewis

SSN: Possible trade options heading into 2020

WITH the end of the season quickly approaching and the list of uncontracted players from each team officially announced we analyse what each side may look for heading into 2020 and which players could fill that role.

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Adelaide Thunderbirds:

Beth Cobden
Maria Folau
Kelly Altmann
Chelsea Pitman
Layla Guscoth

Five players are out of contract for the Adelaide Thunderbirds who steadily built into the season, showcasing glimpses of brilliance throughout the year. The Thunderbirds have already signed South African international Lenize Potgieter for 2020 with the goal shooter no stranger to the Suncorp Super Netball stage after coming in as a replacement player with the Firebirds. Sasha Glasgow has already committed to the club however will not take the court next season after suffering an ACL injury in Round 13 meaning the Thunderbirds could be looking for another shooter if Folau does not sign on. The Thunderbirds will be wanting to top up their stocks and retain players through the middle third with Altmann, Pitman and Cobden all out of contract at season’s end. The midcourt has been the Achilles heel for Adelaide throughout the season, unable to transition the ball down the court with ease, making this a likely focal point heading into next season.

GIANTS Netball:

Amy Parmenter
Kristiana Manu’a
Sam Poolman
Matilda McDonell

The GIANTS had a major shakeup at the end of 2018 and are still in an adjustment period but have plenty of star power across the court despite Jo Harten and Caitlin Bassett still finding their feet in the circle. But with all four defensive players out of contract they could be searching for someone like April Brandley to provide that experience down back. Brandley is out of contract with the Magpies and could be a crucial member in the GIANTS defence if she was to defect to NSW, given her read of the play and impressive timing. The GIANTS have struggled with consistency through the midcourt during the season but given Amy Parmenter’s exciting start to her career she could be one the GIANTS look to quickly sign on once more for coming seasons.

Collingwood Magpies:

April Brandley
Gabrielle Sinclair
Kim Ravaillion
Madi Browne

With a relatively inconsistent season in 2019 the Collingwood Magpies will be looking to build consistency and narrow the gap between their best and worst form. Although Madi Browne has been out for the season with an ACL injury she could be a key cog in attack for the Magpies next season given her experience and class with ball in hand. That being said, Kelsey Browne has been a key player this season in the Magpies lineup and has resigned to the Pies, meaning there could be some intteresting news to come. With Matilda Garrett on the bench and Brandley out of contract the Magpies could have a new look defensive line-up if Brandley moves on, allowing the youngster to take the starting position in front of Geva Mentor.

Melbourne Vixens:

Caitlin Thwaites
Tegan Philip
Ine-Mari Venter
Mwai Kumwenda
Renae Ingles (retired)
Kadie-Ann Dehaney

The Melbourne Vixens have maintained a relatively steady line-up but could be hit hard during the trade period with five players out of contract – and none of their four current goalers signed back to the club as of yet. The Vixens are on the brink of farewelling fan favourite Renae Ingles after announcing her retirement, meaning the wing defence position has well and truly opened up. With the Vixens searching for someone to fill the void Swift, Kate Eddy could be a shoe in. The former Victorian Fury player offers plenty of skill and versatility – something that the Vixens have lacked at times throughout the season and ultimately something they will need to address.

NSW Swifts:

Kate Eddy
Sarah Klau

The Swifts’ main aim heading into season 2020 will be to retain their key players, with each member of the squad playing an integral role in their rise to the top. Newly appointed Australian Diamond, Sarah Klau will be a hot commodity but given her connection with the Swifts she could be hard to lure across. Sophie Garbin and Natalie Haythornthwaite have signed back with NSW showing their commitment to the club meaning their front end will stay relatively the same, while the Swifts’ youth they have weaned up in 2019 could make a case for regular starting positions.

Queensland Firebirds:

Tippah Dwan
Jemma Mi Mi
Laura Clemesha (retired)
Caitlyn Nevins (retired)

In what has been a relatively disappointing season for the Firebirds they will be wanting to reinvigorate themselves heading into 2020, ultimately with the hope of making their way back into finals contention next year. Queensland will be wanting to add more depth to their defensive end with Clemesha retiring and young guns Kim Jenner and Tara Hinchliffe still developing their craft. Jamaican and Melbourne Vixens goal keeper Kadie-Ann Dehaney is out of contract meaning she could be a plausible option for the Firebirds who lack an imposing defensive figure as well as height in the ring. While Erin Burger has recently been released from her contract she could return for 2020 to replace the retired Caitlyn Nevins and injured Mahalia Cassidy while Jemma Mi Mi could still sign on with Queensland.

Sunshine Coast Lightning:

Phumza Maweni
Karla Pretorius
Madeline McAuliffe
Jacqui Russell
Laura Langman

With three of their key players out of contract the Lightning will be looking to secure their services quick smart. Both Karla Pretorius and Phumza Maweni have proven to be a dynamic duo in the circle, causing all sorts of headaches for opposition attack and if Lightning want to maintain their winning legacy they must secure them quicksmart. It is hard to see them leaving the club given their dominance however both Klau and Dehaney could be handy inclusions if they do not stay with their current teams or find alternative clubs. All eyes will turn to Laura Langman and whether or not she will stay given coach Noeline Taurua announced that she will not be with the Lightning in 2020.

West Coast Fever:

Kaylia Stanton

After a flash in the pan season in 2018 the West Coast Fever failed to live up to the hype this year and will be wanting to make amends heading into 2020. With only Stanton out of contract, expect the Fever to have a very settled line-up and build on their inconsistent form in hope to get back to their best. Jhaniele Fowler was a standout under the post once again while they lacked versatility and excitement at times across the court. They have plenty of young up and coming players with Olivia Lewis and Jess Anstiss both a shining light down in defence.