Mission Queensland Firebirds have set the bar high for their under-pinning team Queensland Fusion as they begin their 2015 Australian Netball League (ANL) campaign tomorrow night.
It will be a busy weekend for three Firebirds players as they juggle the end of one season and the beginning of another.
Laura Clemesha, Verity Simmons and Beryl Friday are still celebrating their recent grand final win against the NSW Swifts but as members of the Queensland Fusion team, they’re also preparing for their first round of ANL.
After finishing second in the league last year, Fusion coach Jenny Brazel is hoping that this year’s mixture of new talent and Queensland Firebirds players will help them achieve their championship goals.
“I’m really excited about the new look team,” said Brazel
“This combination of players is probably younger than we’ve had in previous years, but there’s a new energy and enthusiasm that comes with that.”
After announcing Laura Scherian as captain and Laura Clemesha as vice-captain at Fusions final training session last night, Brazel is also quick to point out the advantage of having the three ANZ Champions included in the line-up.
“Having Clem, Verity and Beryl come back is going to add an incredible amount of experience and strength,” she said
“And when that strength is joined with the likes of Laura Scherian, Mahalia Cassidy, Hulita Haukinima and Cara Koenen, it makes a pretty powerful combination.”
When asked about Fusions chances this weekend Brazel went on to say that she was quietly confident.
“The sky’s the limit really, and we’ve got nothing to lose,” Brazel said.
Brazel announced Fusion stalwart Scherian and Firebirds defender Clemesha as the 2015 Captains saying both players bring a wealth of experience and leadership to the team.
“The two of them have experience on a number of levels and a lot of respect from the playing group,” Brazel said.
“Clem has played for years with these girls, and the excitement in the team when we named the captains was great, there is a real positive vibe already having these two leading the Fusion.”
“These girls are what Netball is for Queensland at that level, Shez has been there for many years at the Firebirds and ANL and brings that great training ethos and never-die-attitude.”
“Laura, what she has done with the Firebirds this season and learnt from the Diamonds girls, it gives the young ones in the Fusion team plenty of guidance,” Brazel said.
The team will play one game each day at Ormiston College—Friday at 7:00pm against Southern Force, Saturday 6:30pm against Tassie Spirit and Sunday 12:00pm against NNSW Waratahs.
As well as their Saturday game, the three Firebirds players will be celebrating their success with a tickertape parade team. The parade will leave Brisbane City Hall in King George Square at 12:25pm and finish at Redcliff Place at 12:45pm, with speeches and a signing session running afterwards until approximately 2:30pm.
The ANZ Championship trophy will be at Ormiston Collage for the Sunday night match, so if you want a photograph with Australian netball’s highest accolade make sure you purchase a ticket.
Tickets are available for purchase through the Netball Queensland website and are only $10 per adult, or $20 for a weekend pass.
2015 QUEENSLAND FUSION TRAINING SQUAD
CASSIDY, Mahalia (C, WA / Brisbane North Cougars)
CASSIDY, Alanah (GA,GS / Brisbane West Lions)
CATTELINI, Bianca (GA, WA / Brisbane North Cougars)
CREET, Brienne (WD, GD / Suncoast Lynx)
HAUKINIMA, Hulita (WD, C / Brisbane South Wildcats)
HENDERSON, Mia (GK, GD / Brisbane West Lions)
HORSBURGH, Eleanor (GS, GA / Brisbane South Wildcats)
KOENEN, Cara (GS, GA / Golden South Jaguars)
KAIO, Liana (GD,WD Golden South Jaguars)
KUNDRUS-LITTLE, Nadja (GD, WD / Brisbane North Cougars)
LATU-MEAFOU, Abigail (GA, GS / Brisbane South Wildcats)
McAULIFFE, Madeline (WD, C / Brisbane South Wildcats)
MIDDLETON, Leah (GK, GD / Golden South Jaguars)
OXENFORD, Kristen (WD, C / Golden South Jaguars)
POWER, Jemmason (GS, GA / Brisbane North Cougars)
RUSSELL, Jacqui (C, WD / Brisbane East Tigers)
SCHERIAN, Laura (C, WA / Brisbane North Cougars)
SCOTT, Dominique (WA, C / Suncoast Lynx)
TICKNER, Emma (GD, GK / Suncoast Lynx)
TUALA, Aldora (GK, GD / Brisbane South Wildcats)
UNDERWOOD, Katie (GK, GD / Brisbane North Cougars)
UNIE, Ashlee (GD, GK / Suncoast Lynx)
WALSH, Madeleine (GD, WD / Brisbane South Wildcats)
WASIAK, Zofia (GD,WD / Brisbane West Lions)