WITH the Queensland Firebirds lacking experience in defence, there are plenty of options to help create a formidable defensive unit with multiple players out of contract at seasons end. Although Tara Hinchliffe and Kim Jenner have plenty of promise, the Firebirds could benefit from having a more seasoned defender to help replace retiree Laura Clemesha.
Kadie-Ann Dehaney: Melbourne Vixens
Although Dehaney has spent her fair share of time on the bench in 2019, she could pose a dominant threat for the Firebirds next year if they pick her up. Looking for a dynamic defender with experience Dehaney could be the perfect fit credit to her international knowledge and sheer defensive pressure. The goal keeper is versatile able to switch out to goal defence if needed but it is her ability to read the play and take specky intercepts that makes her so special. The Jamaican defender uses her long, lanky frame to her full advantage applying good pressure over the shot with her impressive lean. She is also deceptively quick for her size enabling her to get to contests with ease. Dehaney is renowned for her ability to hunt the crosscourt ball and while she can be costly at times with penalties she makes up for it with intercepts and deflections. Although she is still young, Dehaney offers a sense of knowledge and composure which could be beneficial to the youthful Firebirds side while her connection with shooter Romelda Aiken could pry her away from the Melbourne Vixens.
Sam Poolman: GIANTS Netball
The GIANTS goal keeper stepped up her game this season wearing down opponents with her physical nature and desperation under the post to limit access into the circle. Poolman has plenty of experience and could be an asset to the Firebirds who have been missing that guidance down back. Her ability to win ball back is impressive while her three foot marking allows her to create doubt on the shot and notch up deflections. Poolman is not contracted next year with the GIANTS, making her an exciting prospect for the Firebirds if they can get their hands on her given her understanding of the game and commitment to the team. With her strength under the post and ability to body up to outmuscle her opponents, she could be a great addition to Queensland’s defensive unit who have lacked that added pressure in the circle.
Kate Eddy: NSW Swifts
The out of contract defender is versatile able to switch between circle defence and wing defence which could be handy for the Firebirds. Although Eddy is still young herself, she has a wealth of experience playing with the likes of Diamond, Sarah Klau. If she is able to bring that knowledge and understanding to the Firebirds she could definitely add to the defensive structure of the squad with her smothering pressure and read of the play. She is quick on her feet and uses her height to full advantage with her lean over the shot. Eddy is clean across the court staying away from the whistle and despite missing the latter half of the season with an ankle injury has shown that she can be an impact player with her ball winning abilities. The Swifts’ defender backs herself throughout the game and can confuse the space with her change of direction and turn of speed. She positions well under the ring to block her opponent out while her drive in the defensive third could be crucial for Queensland who would relish the extra attacking flair.