From the U17 state team right through to The Coffee Club Queensland Firebirds, the best of Netball Queensland’s elite level and professional teams have attracted the sweeping gaze of Australian Diamond’s coach Lisa Alexander in a comprehensive two-day, hands-on visit.
“I watched the under age teams train, I ran a session for the EDS (Elite Development Squad) and am up for the Firebirds match,” Lisa Alexander said.
“Whenever an Australian team plays a New Zealand team I like to think I can help out with a little bit of intel,” she said pointing to The Coffee Club Queensland Firebirds clash with Mainland Tactix.
It was also an opportunity for her to see the talent storming through the Netball Queensland pathways.
“I saw Firebirds members Beryl and Mahalia play when they were under 17 level, around the same time as I started my role as Australian coach.
“Just seeing the improvement and change in physicality of players coming through as athletes over the past four years is significant,” she said.
EDS coach, Kylee Byrne said the opportunity for her players to get time with Lisa Alexander was not only rewarding but a thrill.
“That’s the most excited I have ever seen them,” she said.
“Everyone made themselves available to attend the session. They just couldn’t believe the Australian coach was going to spend time with them.”
“She talked to them about the make-up of the Aussie team and what she looks for in a Diamond,” Byrne said.
“These days it’s about the complete athlete, it’s not just what a player does on court but the off court expectations as well.”
While the EDS players, those talent identified as future Diamonds or ANZ Championship team members, were given valuable insight, Kylee Byrne said there were some take home messages for the Netball Queensland coaching staff as well.
“It’s about raising the bar as a coach, expecting more and more from our athletes but with a holistic and positive approach.
“We all still have to do the basics right, but we also have to consider players and coaches what happens off court as well.”
The Coffee Club Queensland Firebirds play the Mainland Tactix tonight.
The State 17s and 19s begin their Nationals campaigns with a presentation function tomorrow.