NQ names Elite Development Squad

Potential future Firebirds and Suncorp Super Netball players have been named in Netball Queensland’s 2019/2020 Elite Development Program squad today, with 17 players named in the side.

The squad of 17, which draws the best of the state’s up and coming netballers from across Queensland, identifies future stars of the game and gives them access to world-class training, coaching, sports scientists, nutritionists, psychologists and physios with the goal of preparing them for the demands of Suncorp Super Netball .

Hundreds of talented netballers across the state hope to be part of the program. Only 23 were invited to apply this year.

Netball Queensland GM High Performance and Sport Entertainment Richard McInnes said the program, now in its fourth year in this format, focused on finding those future Laura Geitz, Jemma Mi Mi or Romelda Aiken athletes and developing them into world-class netballers.

“At Netball Queensland we want to develop Queenslanders first, identifying those future stars of the game who are likely to go on to secure a Suncorp Super Netball contract,” he said.

“Identifying talent is about looking for those players who have excellent self-discipline and have an attitude of wanting to become the best they can be, who are competitive and have that strong work ethic,” he said.

Not everyone is accepted into the program.

“When choosing players, we look at ensuring we have depth of talent across each position on the court within our program. There are a few players who have been desperately unlucky to miss out this time, but we simply already have great depth in their area of court,” McInnes said.

“The players who were selected were judged to have the potential to break into SSN level over the next two to five years or have been nationally identified by Netball Australia.”

“The Elite Development Program is about inviting those athletes who have shown promise to convince us they’ve earned a position on the squad, that they are worth our investment in them,” he said.

“Each player receives coaching and sports science support targeting their specific requirements and this program is designed to supplement and complement the development work that occurs in the State underage, Queensland Fusion and Sapphire Series programs that they’re also part of,” McInnes said.

“At the end of October Netball Queensland will announce the Queensland Fusion squad as well as the Firebirds Training Partners.  A number of the athletes who have come through the EDP program, but who have not been selected in the 2019/20 squad will be considered for those positions along with those who have performed strongly through the HART Sapphire Series.”

Additional players may be added to the EDP squad following the National Netball Championships in April 2020, with players selected from either the 17U or 19U national squads.

Ten of the 17-woman squad were drawn from the Netball Australia Talls Squad and the national 17U and 19U squads while the remaining seven were identified by the selection panel as likely to secure a future SSN contract.

This Elite Development Program extends until October 2020.


NQ Elite Develoment Program Squad 2019/2020
Ruby Bakewell-Doran Brisbane North Cougars
Reilley Batcheldor* QUT Wildcats
Charlie Bell* Ipswich Jets
Rylee Burns* Bond University Bull Sharks
Bridey Condren* Ipswich Jets
Olivia Dijkstra* Bond University Bull Sharks
Macy Gardner* Brisbane North Cougars
Shenae Grant Bond University Bull Sharks
Lily Gribble* CLC Tigers
Abigail Houston Bond University Bull Sharks
Leesa MiMi* QUT Wildcats
Lenora Misa QUT Wildcats
Martina Reekers* Brisbane North Cougars (Ruby)
Isabelle Shearer* Claws 16U Team (2018)
Annabella Sorby Brisbane North Cougars
Mia Stower Brisbane North Cougars
Hulita Veve QUT Wildcats


Lenora Misa has been selected following her Netball World Cup appearance for Samoa and her strong performances for QUT Wildcats in the HART Sapphire Series.

Previous Elite Development Program squad players who have become a Firebird over the past four years include:

  • Tippah Dwan
  • Tara Hinchliffe
  • Jemma Mi Mi and
  • Kim Jenner
  • Abigail Latu-Meafou

Cara Koenan, Madeline McAuliffe and Sarahpheinna Woulf also received Suncorp Super Netball contracts after participating in the Netball Queensland Elite Development Program.

Current EDP squad members, Macy Gardner, Maddie Hinchliffe and Bridey Condren have also earned call-ups to the Firebirds as temporary replacement players in the 2019 Suncorp Super Netball competition.