QSNL 2017 Preview: Carina Leagues Club Tigers, Darling Downs Panthers

Carina Leagues Club Tigers

Squad: Harriet Adsett, Alexia Baker, Madeleine Butler, Sophie Croft, Adelaide Dadic, Katie Elmer, Beryl Friday, Emily Gage, Kerrie Gordon, Teaana Hunt, Esther Mauga, Irene Mauga, Jacinta Messer, Leah Middleton, Ruby Paton, Shelley Rosanoff, Jacqueline Russell, Ellen Salpietro, Dana Sherwood, Katie Walker.

Division 1

Coach: Amanda Sheaffe.

2016 finish: Second (runners-up).

2016 season snapshot: The Carina Leagues Club Tigers were QSNL runner’s up in 2016, losing 49-43 in the grand final to Brisbane North Cougars after posting an impressive 9-1 regular season record. Their grand final appearance was the club’s third in a row after a championship win in 2014 and another second place finish in 2015. With the addition of some new playing talent, the Tigers will hope to go one better in 2017.

Key players: Jacinta Messer (GK/GD): “We’re very lucky to have Jacinta,” said coach Amanda Sheaffe. “She was picked up by Central Pulse in the ANZ Championship last season and to have her back is absolutely fantastic. She gives us so much experience, knowledge and presence on the court. She’s a hard worker and someone you’d want in your team.”

Katie Walker (C): “Katie Walker is our captain and is a former Firebird. She’s one of the most amazing leaders you could have in your team and everyone at the Tigers really respects her – her work ethic and what she brings to our team. She’s one of the fittest players in the league. She’s dynamic and quick, but also looks after all her team mates on court to make sure they’re all singing from the same song sheet.

What to expect in 2017: “We’re a new team this year and it’s always a different feeling with each campaign you go into,” Sheaffe said. “For our old players, winning a premiership would mean everything to those girls and they’ll do anything it takes to get the trophy in their hands. There are some really exciting times ahead for the Tigers. We have new combinations and it will be great to see what we can produce out on the court.”

First five fixtures: Cougars, Wildcats, Lions, Jaguars, Lynx.

Division 2

Coach: Erin Byrnes.

2016 finish: Sixth (City).

2016 season snapshot: Carina Leagues Club Tigers finished sixth in the 2016 City competition, posting two wins in 12 games. Fitness proved to be the biggest barrier to success for the club and with an added focus on strength and conditioning over the 2017 pre-season, the Tigers will aim to shoot up the ladder this year.

Key players: Shelley Rosener (GK/GD): “Shelley is quick and is great at attacking that first ball and going for the intercept,” coach Erin Byrnes said. “She’ll be a real asset on court for us this year.”

Tiana Hunt (GA/GS): “Tiana flys under the radar, but I think she’ll surprise a few people this year,” Byrnes said. “She’s an extremely accurate shooter and takes her opportunities when they come. You’ll think she isn’t doing much, and the next minute she has the ball under the post. She’s a hard worker.”

What to expect in 2017: “A fitter, stronger Tigers,” Byrnes said. “The aim for us is to make sure we can consistently contest for 60 minutes. Last year we did it for half a game, which wasn’t good enough. We want to make finals, but we have a lot of work to do. It’s about knowing and sticking to the game plan and seeing where it takes us.”

First five fixtures: Cougars, Panthers, Jaguars, Lions, Lynx.

Darling Downs Panthers

Squad: Heidi Case, Elisa Dennis, Jane Herrick, Olivia McDermid, Megan Pretorius, Kendall Ross, Katrina Smidt, Mia Stower, Lane Symons, Emma Taylor, Rayna Verrenkamp.

Coach: Rebecca Stower.

2016 finish: Last (City).

2016 season snapshot: Darling Downs Panthers finished last in the City conference last year, posting one win for the season. With four 16-year-olds in the 2016 starting seven, the Panthers will be hoping experience pays dividends as they look to start their ascent up the ladder this year.

Key players: Olivia McDermid (GD/WD): “Olivia is young, agile and is a hard-worker,” said coach Rebecca Stower. “She works well in combinations in our defence end and is a Queensland 17/u squad member.”

Mia Stower (GA): “Mia gets a lot of ball in the attack end – she’s a bit of a playmaker down there,” Stower said. “She’s got a high shooting volume and percentage, which is vital for us. She’s a good long range shooter and is really active. She gets quite a lot of ball outside of the circle as well.”

What to expect in 2017: “We’ve retained three of the 16-year-olds that took the court as starting players for us last year, which is really encouraging,” Stower said. “We also have a lot of other girls have who have gained that experience. Traditionally we lose players to Brisbane, so I’ve been really happy with our retention and new players that have come in. I’m hoping we can keep building and am confident. Our aim is top four.”

First five fixtures: Bye, Tigers, Lions, Cougars, Wildcats.