Tag: kelsey browne

GIANTS clean up Magpies

IT was a tough physical battle from the get-go between GIANTS Netball and Collingwood Magpies in the opening match of Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) Round 2 with the former notching up their second win (64-54). Both teams boasted new-look squads as young talent came out with a point to prove given the number of missing key cogs across the court.

The hard-fought matchup saw neither side give an inch as the GIANTS flew out of the blocks, forcing a heap of early errors from the ailing Magpies. Missing both Geva Mentor and Molly Jovic, the Magpies looked impotent and lacked pressure across the court, and while the GIANTS were arguably more hard done by with the likes of Kiera Austin, Amy Parmenter and Kristiana Manu’a missing from the fray, the squad appeared to cope much better as Amy Sligar grabbed her debut opportunity with both hands and Sophie Dwyer continued to perform under pressure.

But despite the GIANTS dominating the contest the match ups across the court continued to see players fly with the physicality really stepping up. Jamie-Lee Price was given a real run for her money by Ash Brazill, while Sligar did a really good job shutting down Kelsey Browne, forcing a clogged attack-line for the Magpies as the lack of leadership from Mentor in the backline hurt the side. Jo Harten‘s ability to impact the contest was never in question out the front for the GIANTS, and it did not take long for the goal shooter to stand up and really hurt the Magpies with her ability to find the ball.

Both sides boasted plenty of flare across the court but it was arguably the GIANTS that controlled it the most and took advantage of the opportunities. The Magpies just could not seem to connect and appeared to give the GIANTS too much space on the drive in a tense matchup. Despite their new faces, the GIANTS’ connection across the court was very impressive finding the loose ball with ease and most importantly making the most of it down the court. A 20-goal lead was extended midway through the third quarter as the Giants started and whilst Shimona Nelson improved off her sloppy first term output it just was not enough for the Magpies to whittle down the GIANTS’ lead.

With the wheels starting to fall off for the Magpies, and Brazill having an uncharacteristic sloppy performance, the Pies rung in the changes with Browne pushing into centre and 26-year-old Maggie Lind making her SSN debut in wing attack. Lind came on with a real pep in her step, slicing through the defence and delivering pinpoint passes into the circle as Collingwood cut the margin to 13 goals. It was a much improved quarter from the Magpies as they nailed 17 goals to 14 and started to find their groove in attack with the new connections across the court proving to be the missing.

There was plenty to play for in the final term as both the Magpies and GIANTS worked in overdrive to solidify their partnerships and mount scoreboard pressure. The defensive efforts from Jacqui Newton, Jodi-Ann Ward and former Adelaide Thunderbirds and Scotland Thistles representative Fiona Themann did not go unnoticed as they contested every high ball and forced Harten to go from long range but that did not seem to faze the English international who maintained her accuracy. Maddie Hay was influential in attack for the GIANTS using her impressive timing and spatial awareness to deliver quickfire passes into the circle.

Although it was a better term of play for the black and white, the GIANTS did not seem to skip a beat with April Brandley and Sam Poolman impacting the play with their hands over pressure and ball winning ability. Matilda McDonnell provided a real spark in the wing defence position, using her extra height to get in the head of Lind and cause all sorts of havoc as the GIANTS secured their second win of the season.

Looking at the key contributors and it is hard to go past the services of Harten with the goal shooter and captain recording 37 goals from 45 attempts at 82 per cent while her willingness to attempt the super shot was paramount as she managed four from 10. Dwyer was influential with her 23 goals and seven goal assists as Hay also chimed in with 16 goal assists and two gains. For the Pies Nelson showcased her accuracy with 40 goals from 43 attempts as Gabby Sinclair also plied her trade with 11 goals at 69 per cent. Browne proved to have a hot hand thanks to her 21 goal assists while in her debut game, Lind collected 10 goal assists. Brazill was a key ball winner for Collingwood amassing two intercepts with Ward also getting plenty of hands to ball as shown through her three intercepts and seven deflections. Price had a standout game through the centre for the GIANTS racking up 19 goal assists, four intercepts and two deflections as Poolman also had a game to remember credit to her four intercepts, six deflections and three rebounds.

GIANTS NETBALL 19 | 19 | 14 | 14 (66)
COLLINGWOOD 8 | 13 | 17 | 16 (54)

STARTING SEVENS:

GIANTS:

GS: Jo Harten
GA: Sophie Dwyer
WA: Maddie Hay
C: Jamie-Lee Price
WD: Amy Sligar
GD: April Brandey
GK: Sam Poolman

Magpies:

GS: Shimona Nelson
GA: Gabrielle Sinclair
WA: Kelsey Browne
C: Ash Brazill
WD: Mel Bragg
GD: Jodi-Ann Ward
GK: Jacqui Newton

Lightning strikes more than twice in dominant four-quarter win over Magpies

SUNSHINE Coast Lightning have spoiled the party in Nicole Richardson‘s debut as Collingwood Magpies coach, winning 67-56 in a comfortable four-quarter performance. Led by a shooting combination of Steph Wood and Cara Koenen, the Lightning punished the Magpies on turnovers, running away victors thanks to a 34-26 second half.

It was a remarkable first term as both sides had their fair share of impressive and forgettable moments, that saw multiple goal runs in the first 15 minutes. The Magpies had the first centre pass but an immediate turnover and transition play from the Lightning saw Wood nail her first, then set up Koenen to make it 2-0. When Shimona Nelson could not quite grab it close to the post and it went out for a second turnover, the Lightning had a chance to go 3-0 up but missed. It proved a blessing for the Magpies who started strong from a scoring front as Nelson piled on three consecutive goals to help the Magpies to the lead.

Such was the up-and-down term for Nelson, a third turnover for the Jamaican resulted in the Lightning adding three of their own and regaining the lead. Gabrielle Sinclair got on the board five minutes in, and the Magpies once again took control with some slick movement going forward through the midcourt for a 6-5 lead. The Magpies shooters – considered as a potential weakness for the side heading into the season – were on target. It was their turnovers that were hurting them, as Sinclair turned it over and the Lightning made them pay.

The visitors were not without mistakes themselves as Karla Pretorius even recorded a turnover, but the Magpies – who perhaps were distracted by the announcement of the Super Shot period – miscued a pass through midcourt. The first Super Shot came through Sinclair who made no mistake from range to level the scores at 12-apiece, with Nelson putting her team up following a trademark Ash Brazill intercept. Koenen scored the Lightning’s first two-pointer in a bit of a surprise considering Wood’s practice from range during the match, but Wood’s hesitation in the final seconds rather than shoot resulted in no score and the Lightning heading into the break with a one-goal lead.

Nelson had shot a confident 11 of 12 goals in the opening term, but had three turnovers with Sinclair (four of six) aiding her well. Koenen could hardly miss with 13 from 13 while Wood had the three of four. Laura Scherian was busy at wing attack with seven goal assists from nine feeds, as Kelsey Browne had five of seven for the Magpies.

The early going in the second term saw everything go the way of the Lightning, piling on four straight goals, and eight of the first 10 to race out to a 25-18 lead. Brazill was rotated off the court for Mel Bragg in wing defence, before returning straight on for Molly Jovic in centre. As the Magpies cut the deficit to four points, the Lightning called a time out of their own, with Peace Proscovia coming on for Koenen in goal shooter.

Both Wood and Nelson missed chances before the Super Shot came in, and then Sinclair once again was the first one to nail a long-range shot, cutting the deficit to just three with her successful make. Yet another Magpie turnover saw the Lightning punish the Magpies and race out to a 33-27 lead. Kalifa McColin came in for her debut in the Super Netball and did not only make an impact with an early goal, but then nailed a Super Shot confidently, to single-handedly drag the Magpies back to within a manageable three goals at the main break, while Proscovia nailed her first six goal attempts. At the main break it was 33-30 in favour of the visitors.

Once again it was the Lightning who raced out of the blocks scoring 10 of the first 13 points for a seven-goal lead, and as much as an eight-goal advantage at one stage. The Magpies were back with the starting seven, though changes took place in the first half of the term as Jacqui Newton replaced Geva Mentor at goal keeper, and later Brazill came on as centre again with Bragg back to wing defence. The Lightning were still holding sway though as first Wood – five goals of five attempts early – and then Koenen – reaching double-figure goals with still a few minutes left in the term.

For the Lightning, Kate Shimmin came on in goal defence allowing Pretorius to head out to wing defence, and Maddy McAuliffe having a rest. A third Super Shot from Sinclair drew the Magpies within seven, and then a Jovic intercept – as she returned to the court at wing attack – had the crowd at peak volume. The Magpies were unable to capitalise though, as Sinclair’s Super Shot attempt went off the net and out. The Lightning were not missing though, shooting 19 of 21 for the term, and had opened up a pretty handy eight-goal lead at the final break, 54-46.

Mentor returned to the court in goal keeper as Newton went out to goal defence. A rare turnover from Scherian opened the door for the Magpies early in the term, but yet again despite capitalising through Nelson, were unable to double-up and chew into the deficit immediately after another turnover. The Lightning were making multiple turnovers now however, and soon the lead was back within six points. As was the case all night, the Lightning kept pressing and after a couple more Magpies mistakes, the Lightning opened up a huge double-digit lead five minutes into the term, then the visitors called a time out.

The game was winding down with the Lightning well and truly in control and the Magpies needing a miracle. With five and a half minutes on the clock, the Lightning had scored 10-7 and were out to a 64-53 lead. The Lightning called a late time out for Mahalia Cassidy to have a rest and McAuliffe come on in centre, whilst McCollin returned to the court for Nelson to try and roll the dice with the Super Shot, though Sinclair missed the first chance, but scored the second to cut it to single digits with 2:15 on the clock, but it was just a bridge too far, with the Lightning getting up 67-56 in the match.

Koenen finished with 38 goals from 44, while Wood nailed 20 of 24, had 20 goal assists from 29 feeds and a rebound to be a standout player for the winners. Scherian had a game-high 22 goal assists from 30 feeds, while Cassidy made a successful debut for the Lightning, providing 17 goal assists from 28 feeds. In defence, Maweni had four deflections, two rebounds and two intercepts. For the Magpies, Nelson shouldered the bulk of the load for 39 goals from 43 attempts, three rebounds but five turnovers, while Sinclair (10 of 18) was also lively. Browne played just over a half for 17 goal assists from 28 feeds, while Brazil returned from a long-term knee injury to have eight goal assists from 17 feeds, one intercept and one deflection.

The Magpies will head north to take on the GIANTS Netball next week, whilst the Lightning remain in Victoria for Round 2, taking on Melbourne Vixens.

MAGPIES 16 | 14 | 16 | 10 (56)
LIGHTNING 17 | 16 | 21 | 13 (67)

STARTING SEVEN:

MAGPIES:

GS: Shimona Nelson
GA: Gabrielle Sinclair
WA: Kelsey Browne
C: Molly Jovic
WD: Ash Brazill
GD: Jodi-Ann Ward
GK: Geva Mentor

LIGHTNING:

GS: Cara Koenen
GA: Steph Wood
WA: Laura Scherian
C: Mahalia Cassidy
WD: Maddy McAuliffe
GD: Karla Pretorius
GK: Phumza Maweni

Browne backing reinvigorated Pies

ROUND 1 has been a long time coming for Collingwood Magpies and Australian Diamonds midcourter Kelsey Browne who missed a large chunk of the 2020 Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) season, recovering from an aggravated anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. A lot has changed since the last time she stepped out on court with a new coach at the helm and some fresh faces set to don the black and white dress for the upcoming campaign. Browne is excited about what the new group of Pies can deliver after a bit of a different preseason to previous years.

“We did three double session days which is a bit different for us. We would normally train six days a week but our scheduling was a little bit more than normal. We changed our weights program a little bit during the preseason as well and I think everyone is feeling really strong and fit and just comfortable in their bodies.”

“We’ve been playing some decent netball throughout the preseason, we’ve had a lot more practice matches than we got in 2020, as is the same with other teams but I think to have that match practice under your belt once again really puts you in good stead for Round 1.”

On a personal level, Browne is raring to go and as one of the more experienced heads in the attacking unit, will have to lead by example amongst the likes of Shimona Nelson, Molly Jovic and Gabby Sinclair who are still honing their craft.

“Obviously I got eight games in post my ACL last year but just never fully felt like I was playing at 100 per cent and I think knowing how I feel now in my body, obviously last year in any of the games I just didn’t really feel right but I’m really excited to start the season,” Browne explained. “We’ve had an awesome preseason at the Magpies, it’s been a bit different, very hard, but I think we are all ready and raring to go and ready to transition from preseason into the season.”

Also on her way back to the netball court after an ACL injury is dual-sportswoman Ash Brazill, who was unable make her way up to the hub last year and has spent over a year on the sidelines. However, she did get her chance to shine on the football stage for Collingwood on return from injury, with her reintroduction into the Super Netball scene long awaited not only internally by players, but fans alike given her impressive level of athleticism and endurance.

“She didn’t spend last year’s season with us so having her back in the group has been awesome. She loves to work really hard and is always really infectious with her energy,” Browne said.

“She just brings a bit of spark and we love having her around the club. So having her back from injury and she doesn’t even look like she’s missed a beat is really exciting for us.”

When it comes to fresh faces, youngster Jacqui Netwon takes the mantle in defence while Trinidad and Tobago product Kalifa McCollin is the other one to keep an eye out for with Browne highlighting just how quickly they have adapted to life at the Holden Centre.

“Both of them have come and done such a good job of coming into the group and really feeling a part of it. They both bring very different styles of play and both have incredible strengths that I think we’ve been able to capitalise on.”

“Kalifa is a really smart attacker, she can shoot the long bombs which is really exciting for us. She’s just an awesome person to have around the club and I think with Jacqui as well, this is her first contract, she’s spent a few years with Vixens as a training partner so she’s just really hungry to play. I just absolutely love having both of them a part of it. They have incredible playing skills and I’m really excited to see what they can do this year at SSN.”

Staring down the barrel of Round 1, Browne highlighted a couple of key learnings she and the Magpies playing group took from their numerous practice matches throughout the preseason.

“I think we’ve managed to find a bit of a groove as a new group. We were extremely new last year and we’ve got some time under our belts as a team now so just working through some combinations, really trying to refine what our style of netball is going to be for Collingwood in 2021. I think everyone is really confident in our game plan and it’s really exciting I think we’ve got a lot of trust and confidence out of our preseason games so that’s probably the main things that we’ve taken from those.”

It was a disappointing 2020 season, with Collingwood only registering one win and looking to improve on that feat this season given new and improved connections across the court.

“I think for us it’s been a little bit predictable for teams to play us in years before but I think we’ve got so many different players that can bring different things and have different strengths and I think it’s utilising that this year. We want to bring a fast game, be known for our intensity and that when you come up against the Magpies it’s going to be a hard game. I think if we can stick to that we will be going really well in 2021.”

With a new coach steering the ship, comes a new game plan and an overall new way of looking at things with Nicole Richardson focusing on providing players with confidence to unlock their full potential. Richardson’s clarity in relation to the direction of the club is another key aspect Browne highlighted as the side prepares for a big season of action.

“Richo has a really strong sense of where she wants to go and where she wants the club to go and the directive she wants to go in. I think for us that confidence in knowing exactly what game and what style of netball we want to play has been awesome. She’s chipped away at giving us you know, little tools and little titbits on how we can improve our game and I just think everyone has taken a huge leap forward in the growth of their personal game.

“But I think the biggest thing she has done is that she brings a lot of confidence to each player and really values each and every one of us. She has a really strong connection with the group, she’s been coming to all of our 7am weight sessions which I think for us says she really does care about us and I think that respect and that confidence and feeling valued by your coach is something that’s going to be really important for us this year.”

Set to face off against Sunshine Coast Lightning in the opening round on Saturday afternoon, Browne and the Magpies have one thing in mind and that is to improve their win-loss record from last year.

“I think for us it is about winning more games. But I think the process is that if we can stick to what we’ve decided to do as a group those will come and that will be really exciting. If we can get a few early wins it’ll build the confidence and hopefully we can see what we can do in the back-end of the year.”

2021 SSN Preview: Collingwood Magpies

THE Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) season has swung around once again with teams shaping up for an exciting year of netball. Having played through a global pandemic last season, the 2021 campaign will be hoping to restore a bit of normality to the netball world as the eight sides compete for that all-elusive premiership.

Coach: Nicole Richardson
Captain: Geva Mentor
2020 finish: 8th

The Magpies realistically have nowhere to go but up after a shoddy season 2020, with just one win going their way in a disappointing year for the club, which had a constant injury cloud overhead to go in hand with a highly inexperienced list. While the injury list grew periodically, with first Ash Brazill out prior to the season proper and then the imminent losses of Madi and Kelsey Browne in consecutive weeks, something the Magpies did really well in 2020 was blood up an exciting list of talented training partners, with Molly Jovic and Mel Bragg two players who well and truly stepped up to the task, week in, week out. But with youth and a quick recovery period between games, the side just did not quite have the oomph to retain pressure across the full 60 minutes, rendering them to a frustrating season.

2021 predictions/expectations:

The Magpies are looking a lot more potent heading into 2021, with the return of Kelsey Browne and Brazill, as well as new Trinidad and Tobago acquisition Kalifa McCollin, who will add an extra prong to an already exciting front-line. Whilst Browne’s speed and energy is sure to play a huge role out the front, the return of her pinpoint precision feeds to Shimona Nelson are sure to pay off in spades with Gabby Sinclair also more than capable of providing that extra attacking option alongside McCollin. Also through the centre, the injection of Jovic and Bragg with extra preparation and connection is sure to pay dividends, especially with the huge return of Brazill which is already sending tongues wagging. At the back-end, there is no doubt captain Geva Mentor will look to fly out of the blocks and be a key figure down back once more, especially with a new-look combination in defence with Jodi-Ann Ward and Jacqui Newton. Whilst Ward is likely to receive the starting bib given her added experience, Newton is also a viable option out the front, especially in a side which has nothing to lose this year.

Key player to watch:

When it comes to players to watch, one cannot go past the excitement fan favourite Brazill brings to both the playing group and fans alike. With over a year and a half since she took the court at Suncorp Super Netball level, there is no doubt Brazill’s star power and versatility will really boost the Magpies squad this year, playing with an element of excitement and the aerial leap which saw her admission into the Australian Diamonds squad a couple of years back. Whilst she may not yet have the court fitness after making her return to AFL Women’s midway through the 2021 season, she will certainly bring her excellent endurance base and work rate to every match. Brazill is one of the big returnees in 2021 and is sure to do big things when given the chance, with her vision and workhorse attitude allowing her to consistently turn over ball for her side.

Team list:

Geva Mentor
Ash Brazill
Kelsey Browne
Molly Jovic
Melissa Bragg
Gabby Sinclair
Shimona Nelson
Jodi-Ann Ward
Jacqui Newton
Kalifa McCollin

Countdown: SSN Top 15 debutants #4

IT has been a big year of Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) that saw a host of new faces enter the league. While many may have been elevated training partners due to the extended bench there are a couple of players who made their long-awaited SSN debut with one boasting international experience. Draft Central has composed a countdown of the Top 15 SSN debutants for 2020, and the next in line at fourth is Collingwood speedster Molly Jovic.

Although it was a disappointing season for the Pies, only registering the one win, one positive to come out of the season was Jovic. Boasting a wealth of experience albeit not at SSN level, Jovic relied on her netball smarts to star in her 12 appearances. She brought that element of composure and while on the odd occasion she would throw the ball away, her work rate was unquestionable. A true workhorse through the centre, Jovic showed her hand in a number of positions able to pull on both the wing defence and wing attack bibs but did her most damage through the centre.

It is fair to say things did not go to plan for Collingwood with both Kelsey and Madi Browne getting a couple of games under their belts before being sidelined due to their recurring knee injuries. This therefore meant that Jovic really had to up the ante and lead the troops through the centre as a number of fresh faces such as Tyler Orr joined the fray. In her debut season, Jovic was as consistent as they come, laying everything out on the court and hustling hard to create turnover ball. She paired well with Kelly Altmann as the two combined around circle edge to balance the attacking third and provide options outside the circle to reset play.

With speed to burn, Jovic was never far from the contest, able to get hands to ball thanks to her closing speed and all round commitment. Her variety of passes was imperative to keeping the opposition defenders guessing as she worked in overdrive to bring the ball down the court and deliver into Shimona Nelson and Gabby Sinclair. She never looked out of place credit to her composed nature and ability to think her way through the defensive pressure and execute. Jovic hardly shied away from the physicality despite her lighter frame but nine times out of 10 used her nippy footwork to burst away from her opponent. A highly nimble and agile player, the 25-year-old was a persistent threat for the black and white toiling away to edge the ball down the court and create attacking forays given her exciting nature of play.

Her decision making and game smarts developed rapidly throughout the season, as did her confidence allowing her to release the ball from range into Nelson time and time again. A more defensive minded midcourter, given her tenacity to hunt down any loose ball and create defensive pressure with her three-foot marking Jovic collected 10 intercepts and 25 deflections. However that is not to say that she was not prominent in attack, notching up 114 goal assists thanks to her silky movement and pinpoint passes into the circle. With a constantly changing midcourt around her, Jovic displayed her adaptability and versatility to change up her game play to suit who she is playing alongside while her seamless transition through the midcourt positions was testament to her high calibre. Only in her first year there is still plenty to learn, but given the impressive season she had there is no denying that a bright future lays ahead for the up and coming midcourter who oozes speed and spatial awareness.

SSN: Update of finalised squads for 2021 season

ALTHOUGH there is just over a week to play out in the Suncorp Super Netball signing period a number of clubs have finalised their lists for the 2021 season. Queensland Firebirds were relatively quick to secure their 10-player roster as were the NSW Swifts. Both the Sunshine Coast Lightning and Collingwood Magpies finalised their squads days ago with a number of fresh faces joining the fray while the West Coast Fever are set for another consistent season given the limited player turnover. There are still a number of spots available, with the GIANTS, Adelaide Thunderbirds and Melbourne Vixens yet to round out their respective squads for the 2021 season.

Collingwood Magpies

  • Melissa Bragg
  • Ash Brazill
  • Kelsey Browne
  • Molly Jovic
  • Kalifa McCollin
  • Geva Mentor
  • Shimona Nelson
  • Jacqui Newton
  • Gabrielle Sinclair
  • Jodi-Ann Ward

The potential return of Ash Brazill will be huge for Collingwood who have a relatively young and inexperienced side heading into next season. Kalifa McCollin will be an exciting player to watch after plying her trade with the Southern Steel in the ANZ Premiership in 2020 while the evolution of Molly Jovic and Mel Bragg will be another focal point for Collingwood next season. Jodi-Ann Ward developed at a rate of knots throughout their campaign while the acquisition of Jacqui Newton will only strengthen their defensive stocks. With a finalised squad the Pies are awaiting the final piece of the puzzle – a coach – to round out the final touches to their line-up.

NSW Swifts

  • Tayla Fraser
  • Sophie Garbin
  • Paige Hadley
  • Nat Haythornthwaite
  • Helen Housby
  • Sarah Klau
  • Lauren Moore
  • Maddy Proud
  • Maddy Turner
  • Sam Wallace

The Swifts somewhat flew under the radar throughout the signing period with a majority of their players snatched up early. Consistency has long been a theme for the Swifts and they continued that with no new faces joining, just Tayla Fraser officially elevated to the main group for 2021. Fraser showed glimpses of brilliance with her speed and fancy footwork often providing a spark to the Swifts frontend. The connection between Maddy Turner, Lauren Moore and Sarah Klau will only further develop as will the dynamic duo in Maddy Proud and Paige Hadley through the centre.

Queensland Firebirds

  • Romelda Aiken
  • Gretel Bueta
  • Lara Dunkley
  • Tippah Dwan
  • Rudi Ellis
  • Tara Hinchliffe
  • Kim Jenner
  • Jemma Mi Mi
  • Kim Ravaillion
  • Gabi Simpson

After an impressive rise up the ladder in 2020 the Firebirds have added a familiar name to the fold for next season with Kim Ravaillion set to once again pull on the purple dress. A formidable force through the centre with her defensive attributes key, her presence and experience will be crucial in helping push for a Firebirds finals tilt. Gretel Bueta is likely to rejoin the squad after giving birth while the services of Tippah Dwan have been retained. It is no surprise the defensive duo in Kim Jenner and Tara Hinchliffe are back for another season, however much like Collingwood they are waiting for a coach to be announced to cap off a solid and exciting list.

Sunshine Coast Lightning

  • Mahalia Cassidy
  • Cara Koenen
  • Phumza Maweni
  • Maddy McAuliffe
  • Karla Pretorius
  • Peace Proscovia
  • Laura Scherian
  • Kate Shimmin
  • Ashlee Unie
  • Steph Wood

The retirement of Laura Langman sent shockwaves throughout the netball community, but when one door closes another opens with Mahalia Cassidy joining the Lightning for 2021. A similar player to Langman in the sense she is more defensive minded and has an impressive tank, Cassidy will be an exciting addition to Sunshine Coast. Another exciting pickup for the two-time premiers is Kate Shimmin with the former Adelaide Thunderbirds defender set to inject some versatility and excitement into a tried and tested defensive unit while youngster Ash Unie has also been elevated, adding to a strong core of players.

West Coast Fever

  • Jess Anstiss
  • Sunday Aryang
  • Courtney Bruce
  • Verity Charles
  • Emma Cosh
  • Jhaniele Fowler
  • Stacey Francis
  • Sasha Glasgow
  • Olivia Lewis
  • Alice Teague-Neeld

There was only one change to the Fever line-up ahead of the 2021 season with Sasha Glasgow the only newcomer to the club. Although more of a goal shooter, Glasgow has proven that she is a strong option out in goal attack too and is accurate from both under the post or on the perimeter. After a breakout season, Sunday Aryang has been elevated to the full time roster credit to her explosiveness, read of the play and impressive versatility to swing between all three defensive roles. Emma Cosh has also been rewarded for her efforts earning a spot in their 10 player squad with her versatility key able to play in both goals and wing attack.

Related articles:

Movers and changers prior to SSN trade period
Movers and changers first week of trade period 
Movers and changers second week of trade period

2020 SSN stats: Midcourt

ALTHOUGH the Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) season is over, there is still plenty of analysis to be done. The next area of focus is the midcourt which will be broken down into wing attack, centre and wing defence. It will take into account aspects such as goal assists, centre pass receives along with deflections and intercepts to highlight the diversity that is shown through the centre third.

WING ATTACK:

Arguably the world’s best wing attack, Liz Watson was once again in ripping form and played a vital role in the Vixens’ grand final success this season. Despite missing a couple of games with an ankle injury Watson led all-comers with a competition high 367 goal assists with her pinpoint passing on constant display. She was also prolific at the centre pass racking up 284 receives testament to her high work rate. Speedster Laura Scherian also had a hot hand recording 202 goal assist across her 16 games while her efforts at the centre pass were unmatched leading the league with 342. The ever reliable Chelsea Pitman was classy with ball in hand registering 165 assists, 201 centre pass receives and 12 deflections.

GIANTS debutant Maddie Hay also impressed in her 13 appearances to collect 164 goal assists and 19 deflections and while Kiera Austin was predominantly in goal attack spent some time out in wing attack to pick up 153 assists, 289 centre pass receives and 12 intercepts. Emma Cosh quickly familiarised herself out in wing attack after being dropped in the deep end, to finish with 156 goal assists in her couple of appearances. The ever changing Magpies frontend had a number of players pull on the wing attack bib with Kelsey Browne a key fixture prior to being ruled out with injury notching up 92 assists from her eight outings while Kelly Altmann also contributed 64 goal assists and 81 centre pass receives. For the Swifts, the smooth moving Nat Haythornthwaite was clinical with ball in hand leading the way with 152 goal assists while Firebirds livewire Jemma Mi Mi amassed 91 goal assists. Lara Dunkley found her groove as the season went on, registering 89 centre pass receives and 83 goal assists with her vision into the circle on constant display.

CENTRE:

A reinvigorated Verity Charles was a key cog in the engine room of the Fever with the centre running rampant and putting her attack skills to good use to notch up an impressive 317 goal assists. Renowned for her attacking tendencies, Charles also plied her trade defensively to amass 10 intercepts and 20 deflections. Sunshine Coast Lightning’s recently retired champion Laura Langman also starred with ball in hand, able to weave her way down court and deliver recording 255 goal assists while her defensive hustle was unquestionable collecting 14 intercepts and 25 deflections credit to her read of the play and sheer athleticism. Returning from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury Mahalia Cassidy was as consistent as they come and stepped up to the plate for the Firebirds producing 266 goal assists, four intercepts and 15 deflections.

GIANTS centre, Jamie-Lee Price led the troops in orange recording 190 goal assists, making full use of her deft touch while also displaying her defensive repertoire to collect 21 intercepts and 52 deflections. Melbourne Vixens co-captain Kate Moloney showcased her two-way running and even with Watson running the front half still managed 201 goal assists but did her most damage in transition picking up 11 intercepts and 26 deflections.

Swinging between the centre and wing attack position, Molly Jovic proved to do her most damage when able to run between all three thirds racking up 114 goal assists, 10 intercepts, 25 deflections and while she was costly at times with 52 turnovers to her name there is plenty of upside for the Pies midcourter. Much like Jovic, Paige Hadley and Maddy Proud found themselves rotating through a number of midcourt positions for the Swifts with Hadley expressing more of her defensive attributes with 13 intercepts and 20 deflections to accompany her 163 goal assists while Proud’s attacking flair came to the fore boasting 203 goal assists. The Thunderbirds also had a number of players pull on the centre bib as co-captain Hannah Petty floated in and out of the side with injury but still recorded 66 assists from her 10 outings while Maisie Nankivell did a lot of the heavy lifting to finish with 157 assists and starred defensively with 16 intercepts and 29 deflections.

WING DEFENCE:

There was no shortage of star performances in wing defence as Kate Eddy elevated her game in 2020 for the Vixens and although she was plagued with a foot injury in the last few games still managed to assert herself on the competition, boasting an impressive stat line of 19 intercepts, 32 deflections and seven rebounds given her ability to swing into goal defence. Training partner and replacement when Eddy went down, Allie Smith also showed glimpses of stardom with four intercepts and seven deflections in her limited time on court.

Fellow youngster, Amy Parmenter was another ball magnet and led the charge for the GIANTS collecting 25 intercepts and 62 deflections thanks to her impressive closing speed. still relatively fresh to the SSN scene, Mel Bragg starred for Collingwood, plying her trade effectively across the court to go out hunting and amass 18 intercepts and 42 deflections. Jess Anstiss kicked it up a gear for the Fever regularly getting hands to ball as shown by her 10 intercepts and 26 deflections.

Firebirds captain Gabi Simpson recaptured her scintillating form as her increased court coverage and dogged style of defence really came to the fore picking up 17 intercepts and 35 deflections. Shadine van der Merwe was a solid performer for the Thunderbirds able to employ strong hands over pressure and walked away with eight intercepts and 31 deflections, often sharing the role with Nankivell. The Lightning’s wing defence bib was often shared between Maddy McAuliffe and Jacqui Russell as the two picked up 14 and 10 intercepts, and 28 and 13 deflections respectively with McAuliffe also showcasing her attacking attributes with 26 goal assists. The Swifts were another club not afraid to ring in the changes however nine times out of ten the wing defence job fell to Sophie Craig as she picked up four intercepts and 26 deflections.

Draft Central Courtside Comments: Post-season wrap – Midcourter

THE 2020 Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) season saw plenty of fresh faces step up to the plate, with Draft Central introducing its Courtside Comments series which focused on one player across the round and their individual highlights, key moments and improvements during the match. Now that the season is done and dusted, Managing Editor Taylah Melki and Senior Editor Sophie Taylor look back at each player’s season as a whole, discussing their overall form in 2020.

>>>ALL 2020 COURTSIDE COMMENTS

The next Courtside Comments post-season wrap looks at the six midcourters we focused on throughout the season in Maisie Nankivell, Molly Jovic, Mel Bragg, Emma Cosh, Tayla Honey and Maddie Hay. Each midcourter starred in their own right and majority of them rotated through a variety of positions showcasing their respective high levels of endurance, adaptability and overall netball smarts. Wing attacks Hay, Honey and Cosh were pivotal for their respective sides with Cosh stepping up to the plate when Ingrid Colyer went down, amassing 97 goal assists for the Fever while Hay recorded 164 assists along with 19 deflections and three intercepts. Although Honey only got limited court time she managed to find plenty of ball registering 24 goal assists, 50 centre pass receives, two intercepts and five deflections in her five appearances. Jovic was a shining light for Collingwood throughout the season, collecting 114 goal assists with her defensive pressure also evident through her 10 intercepts and 25 deflections. Teammate Bragg plied her trade in wing defence, covering the court well to amass 18 intercepts and 42 deflections while Nankivell was a key cog in the Thunderbirds unit producing 16 intercepts and 29 deflections, a reflection of her defensive tendencies while her attacking attributes also came to the fore in 2020 registering an impressive 157 goal assists.

Here’s what we had to say:

Maisie Nankivell – Adelaide Thunderbirds (C/WD/WA)

Courtside Comments: Round 1

By: Sophie Taylor, Draft Central Senior Editor

An exciting young prospect who put herself out there in the latter stages of the 2019 SSN season and did not skip a beat coming into 2020. Th zippy midcourter is a crucial part of the Thunderbirds lineup and consistently proves she is more than capable of running her opposition players off their feet, showcasing both her attacking and defensive attributes as she did so. Nankivell is an exciting talent given her excellent agility, ability to weather physicality and her creative footwork, credit to her background in Aussie rules. She was a constant threat around the court, able to consistently provide an attacking option by linking up well with Chelsea Pitman and Shadine van der Merwe through the midcourt. Her willingness to hunt the ball was testament to her drive, and the young midcourter really developed her craft as the season went on, no longer the newbie in the Thunderbirds ranks.

By: Taylah Melki, Draft Central Managing Editor

It was very much see ball, get ball for Nankivell who let no one stand in her path such was her commitment to the contest. Highly versatile Nankivell added more an attacking string to her bow especially in the latter half of the year, finding herself out in the wing attack position. But Nankivell did her most damage through centre and wing defence, able to lock down her opponent and nullify their impact. The gut-running midcourter was not afraid of the physical contest and instead thrived off it, hunting any loose or cross court ball to provide the thunderbirds with a chance to regain possession. Her quick hands and zippy footwork enabled her to dance around circle edge up both ends and create timely tips and deflections. Nankivell grew with confidence throughout the season and that was particularly evident when it came to releasing passes into the circle, credit to her improved spatial awareness and ball control.

Molly Jovic – Collingwood Magpies (C/WD/WA)

Courtside Comments: Round 4

By: Sophie Taylor, Draft Central Senior Editor

When it comes to breakout midcourters in season 2020, there is no doubt Jovic is a player who is brought up time and again with the first year player bursting onto the scene and rarely taking a backwards step. A midcourter who gets the job done, no questions asked, Jovic provided the gut-running through the centre and continuously stepped up to the plate to prove herself on court. While Jovic did not bring a heap of flair to the court, it was her ability to go and go and control ball movement that allowed her to impact the play so consistently and effectively. An efficient ball-mover credit to her speed and development, the young midcourter was rarely on the back foot or overawed by her more experienced opposition, and once Madi and Kelsey Browne were unable to return she well and truly stepped up again to propel herself into the contest. While Jovic was somewhat of an unknown quantity coming into the season, she well and truly showcased her excitement-generating skill.

By: Taylah Melki, Draft Central Managing Editor

It is fair to say that Jovic left no stone unturned throughout the 2020 season with her ability to find the ball and bring it down the court with great ease. Her two way running was second to none, covering the court seamlessly and injecting speed. She was as consistent as they came and was a real barometer for the Pies often setting the tone with her approach through court. Jovic persistently displayed her ability to have an influence through centre, wing defence and wing attack largely in part to her netball nous and skill to know when to go and when to hold. Her ability to read the play and create attacking forays enabled her to hit the circle edge and push Collingwood forward. The 25-year-old’s defensive attributes also lifted a notch throughout the season, picking up a wealth of deflections and proving to be a menace across the court with her three foot marking and hustle.

Maddie Hay – GIANTS Netball (WA)

Courtside Comments: Round 7

By: Sophie Taylor, Draft Central Senior Editor

Another 2019 training partner who was elevated for SSN 2020, Hay stepped up with ease this season using her clean hands and vision to have a consistent impact throughout. Having learnt off the best in Kim Green over the last few seasons, the wing attack proved she was a consistent and safe option in the goal third, providing a quality option on circle edge and elevating her matchplay constantly to prove she was capable of holding down the starting bib. While Hay was quiet in patches, the midcourter was a formidable option when she got going and used her clean footwork to consistently dart around and find pride of place in the pocket to feed lightning fast passes into the goal circle. Hay is another who will only improve with more court time, with some great skills and confidence on show this season.

By: Taylah Melki, Draft Central Managing Editor

Earning herself the starting wing attack bib, Hay oozed a wealth of confidence and composure on court. Only in her first year of SSN, the talented midcourter possessed a cautious and clinical approach in the attacking third to thread the needle into her respective goalers in Jo Harten, Caitlin Bassett and Kiera Austin. Not boasting a wealth of speed, Hay relied on her precision passing to get the job done and her nifty footwork around circle edge to claim prime position and deliver. Her balance and strong hands were key and will only get better with time. Her work rate was unquestionable and while she floated in and out of games at certain times there is plenty of upside surrounding the wing attack who showcased glimpses of what she could be with further exposure to the top level.

Mel Bragg – Collingwood Magpies (WD)

Courtside Comments: Round 11

By: Sophie Taylor, Draft Central Senior Editor

Bragg was in the unprecedented position at the end of the 2020 season, finding herself as the most experienced midcourter on the list despite only being elevated to the main Magpies list this season. But the composed midcourt-defender was not overawed by the leadership opportunity and instead took it as a chance to step up and command ball consistently, and leading the drive down court from wing defence off the example of Geva Mentor down back. An undeniable talent given her ability to zone in on the loose ball and drive forward, Bragg forced her wing attacks to think about their every move and adjust to her body-on-body style, given her speed and three foot marking to constantly apply hands over pressure. While it was not a great season for the Magpies, there is no denying the development of Bragg – and Jovic – paid off and will see the wing defence wreak havoc once more next season.

By: Taylah Melki, Draft Central Managing Editor

Highly underrated, Bragg showcased her class throughout the 2020 season with her ability to hunt down the loose ball and put in the hard yards across the court. She was a real impact player for the Pies, able to wear her opponent down with her dogged style of defence and never say die attitude. Her deceptively long arms and speed off the mark enabled her to create a wealth of turnovers while her fancy footwork around circle edge allowed her to stop her opponent in their tracks and clog up space. She was a real workhorse and often stepped up to the plate when it came to transitional play through court, unleashing passes into the likes of Shimona Nelson under the post, which was a testament to her increased confidence and skill. Bragg consistently buttered up after each contest to apply hands over pressure and read displayed her ability to read the play and come out flying for a big intercept such was her agility.

Tayla Honey – Melbourne Vixens (WA)

Courtside Comments: Round 12

By: Sophie Taylor, Draft Central Senior Editor

A highly touted young midcourter, Honey proved she can step it up in 2020 with her clean and agile movement, and while at times she was overawed by the contest and let a few passes slip, there is no denying the youngster benefited off the court-time she had. The young attacker is a consistent threat credit to her ability to sight her goalers inside the circle, and when required she was able to switch on and turn heads with her speed and court coverage. Honey had a real opportunity to prove herself in the latter stages of the season with an ankle injury to Liz Watson opening up a starting position. While the wing attack bib ended up being shared with training partner Elle McDonald, Honey worked hard to offer an alternate option with her speed counterbalancing McDonald’s strength and showcasing her netball nous in a successful first official season with the Vixens after being sidelined with injury last year.

By: Taylah Melki, Draft Central Managing Editor

With limited court time it is fair to say that there were only short glimpses of what Honey is capable, but in saying that her bag of tricks is relatively full. Her general court coverage was impressive, popping out at the centre pass and as her confidence grew so did her second phase play and off-the ball movement. Although guilty of a few turnovers, Honey never gave up the fight, working hard to win ball back and find space in the attacking third to create impressive passages of play. Her one-two punch with the likes of spearhead Kate Moloney was key when on court for the Vixens, while her deft touches worked wonders for Mwai Kumwenda and Caitlin Thwaites holding strong under the post. She still has plenty of development left in her and can be seen as a bit of a raw prospect given the limited minutes in 2020.

Emma Cosh – West Coast Fever (WA/GA)

Courtside Comments: Round 14

By: Sophie Taylor, Draft Central Senior Editor

Like Honey, Cosh got an opportunity to really prove herself thanks to a season-ending injury to Ingrid Colyer, and while some players could have been overwhelmed by the opportunity, Cosh took the chance in hand and did not look back. The goal attack turned wing attack was a threatening fixture on circle edge, using her knowledge of positioning inside the circle to continuously propel ball into the goalers and time it to perfection. A taller wing attack than Colyer, Cosh used her lean frame and height to continuously provide an option around circle edge, and consistently applied attacking pressure with her willingness to contest and zip around the attack. While her versatility to impact out in goal attack was not utilised in the second half of the season, her ability to be an option in both positions is a threatening prospect given her damaging form in just a few rounds of full games.

By: Taylah Melki, Draft Central Managing Editor

The 27-year-old proved to be a revelation out in the unfamiliar position of wing attack for the Fever, with her ability to read the play and glide across the court on show. Her strength at the centre pass was key, coming out hard and providing an option while her deft passes into Jhaniele Fowler were crucial to the Fever’s success particularly in the backend of the season. A smooth mover, Cosh grew with confidence each time she stepped out on court and worked her way into the contest credit to her spatial awareness and netball nous. Cosh was hardly overawed by the occasion, burrowing down to do the work and swing the ball around with some clever triangle play and used her impressive timing to create space inside the attacking third. Her ability to read the attacking patterns also allowed her to clear out space and enabled Alice Teague-Neeld and Verity Charles to lead the way.

Courtside Comments: Gamechangers – Semi-finals // Preliminary final // Grand final

Centre Pass Podcast // Molly Jovic interview

2020 Collingwood Magpies: Season review

WITH the Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) season done and dusted Draft Central takes a look back at the year that was for each team, where they went wrong, improvements and hopes for the 2021 season. It has been an unconventional season to say the least with a condensed season, rolling subs, introduction of the super shot, extended benches and of course the Queensland hub making for an action packed year of netball. The first team to kick off proceedings is Collingwood who struggled to get going and find their winning formula.

Ladder: 8th
Win-loss: 1-13
Percentage: 88.3%

Overview:

It was an incredibly difficult year for the black and white as Collingwood only managed the one win against Queensland Firebirds early in their campaign and were once again riddled with injuries. They lost the services of Ash Brazill prior to the commencement of the season to an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury while Nat Medhurst was a late withdrawal due to pregnancy and then was unable to get up to the Queensland based hub due to the COVID-19 restrictions. Unfortunately it did not stop there for Collingwood as both Madi and Kelsey Browne were ruled out of the season midway through due to recurring ACL niggles. Medhurst’s pregnancy and Madi’s knee complaint led to the star duo retiring however it was not all doom and gloom for Collingwood with a couple of youngsters stepping up to the plate and dominating.

Gabby Sinclair took the next step up in her career with her long range shooting doing wonders for the Pies while the ever-experienced and classy Geva Mentor starred down back with her lean over the shot, signature roll and ability to read the play. Mel Bragg was another player that emerged as a real game changer for Collingwood able to hunt down and lose ball and apply a wealth of hands over pressure while Matilda Garrett showed glimpses of brilliance credit to her quick footwork and long arms. In the shooting circle, Shimona Nelson was the go to girl thanks to her aerial dominance and accuracy under the post while Emma Ryde proved to be a handy option when needed. Although she did not get a wealth of court time youngster Nyah Allen displayed a wealth of composure and netball smarts to dance around the court and slot them from anywhere.

Shining light:
Elevated to the list as an injury replacement player to start with in 2020, Molly Jovic quickly became a revelation running through the centre with her speed, dynamic movement and tenacity constantly on show. Her work rate was second to none, able to run all day and most importantly was cautious with ball in hand. Her versatility worked wonders swinging between wing defence, centre and wing attack while seamlessly pairing with the likes of the Browne sisters when they were playing and Kelly Altmann to find circle edge. Jovic proved to be more than a one trick pony, able to effectively ply her trade on a defensive front with her ball winning capabilities but also used her speed to create a number of attacking forays.

Best off-season pickup:
Jamaican international Jodi-Ann Ward developed at a rate of knots throughout the season, adapting to the pace of the game and having a profound impact towards the latter end of the season. Although costly at times with her physicality at the contest her intent was never questionable, constantly attacking the ball carrier and backing herself in. She played a real dogged style of defence, hustling hard for position while her turn of speed enabled her to cover the court with great ease. Ward was electric and paired up with Mentor easily to create strong defensive plays while her footwork was another crucial part of her game play.

Predictions:
Still on the hunt for a new coach for the 2021 SSN season, Collingwood will be hoping to consolidate on their foundations and get some more court time into the young up-and-coming players in the squad. They showcased moments of magic but will be hoping to find more consistency in order to grind out games and make their way up the ladder in 2021.

SSN Updates: This week’s movers and changers

A HUGE week in the netball world has seen some big player movements erupt prior to the signing period opening and a couple of coaches exploring other options next season. We take a look at the week that was and how the announcements could affect the competition. 

**Note: Suncorp Super Netball is yet to announce the 2020 trade period

Caitlin Bassett

2020 club: GIANTS Netball

Arguably one of the biggest trans-tasman steals in a long time, with Bassett announcing during the week that she is heading to the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic for season 2021. With limited court time this year, Bassett will make the switch to the ANZ Premiership citing limited opportunities on court and the knowledge that she was not part of coach Julie Fitzgerald’s preferred starting seven. Speculation around Bassett’s future has been circulating for a number of weeks now, after the Australian Diamonds captain only managed one full game for the season – her 200th appearance.

“My time with the GIANTS didn’t play out as anticipated and I guess that’s just sport sometimes,” Bassett said in a statement published by GIANTS Netball.

“I couldn’t be more excited to head to New Zealand and join the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic… “To experience the game in another country and play alongside and against some of the world’s best netballers is a really exciting challenge and valuable experience for me.”

Roselee Jencke

2020 club: Queensland Firebirds

A huge announcement given the Firebirds’ success this season and the recent media scrutiny. A highly regarded coach of the Firebirds over 11 years of service to the Queensland-based club, including three premierships from five grand final appearances, Jencke informed the club that she would not stay on despite an exciting season for Firebirds fans after a tumultuous 2019. It is an intriguing decision, given the position the Firebirds are in this year and the rate of development of Jencke’s talented youngsters.

“Finishing the season with strong momentum has positioned this group well for the future, so it’s the right time for the team to start their next chapter,” Jencke said.

“I’m very proud of everything we have achieved over the last 11 years – there have been challenging times, however there have been many more moments of joy and success, and I want to thank everyone in the club and our wonderful fans for their support over the years.”

Sasha Glasgow

2020 club: Adelaide Thunderbirds

This one is where the speculations start, with the 22-year-old advising the club that she would be exploring free agency following a season where, much like Bassett, Glasgow sat on the bench. Returning from a late-2019 anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear, Glasgow took to the court a couple of times, showcasing her silky movement in the goal circle but given the calibre of her replacement in international shooting superstar Lenize Potgieter, was often forced to the sidelines. With the ability to slot in at goal shooter – her preferred position – or goal attack, Glasgow will hope for a lifeline from a club looking to add a versatile string to their bow. 

Like Bassett, Glasgow is sure to explore her options, with a couple of teams – in multiple leagues – yet to announce their goaling combinations ahead of next year, and given her youth should be able to snag a spot after an outstanding 2019 season. A move to the Melbourne Vixens is among a couple of viable options but could be overlooked given the club’s continuous development of local talent, while Central Pulse (ANZ Premiership) and Leeds Rhinos (Vitality Netball Superleague) also have not yet confirmed their goalers for next season.

Rob Wright

2020 club: Collingwood Magpies

Of all the changes made this week, it is safe to say that this was probably the least surprising given the Magpies’ woes this season. While Collingwood was not only slammed with pregnancies prior to and during their signings last season, fresh injuries to the likes of Madi and Kelsey Browne midway through the season did not help the Magpies’ case and saw the side collect just one victory in 2020. While Wright’s developing signings showed plenty of promise this season, the lack of experience and subsequent retirements of a couple of key figureheads in Madi Browne and Nat Medhurst will see another completely new-look side head into the 2021 season, with a new coach to help with the fresh start.

“It was a privilege and a pleasure to coach Collingwood and a rewarding professional challenge to oversee the transition from one team to the next,” Wright said in a statement released by Collingwood.

“The realities of high performance sport can be brutal but we all accept them, players and coaches alike. The SSN is the best domestic netball competition in the world and it is tough.

“That said, I believe Collingwood is positioned to re-emerge in 2021. I hope it does. Thanks to Collingwood and everyone in the program.”