QSNL 2017 Preview: Brisbane West Lions, Marlin Coast Marlins

Brisbane West Lions

Squad: Hannah Beaton, Lucinda Benjamin, Katrina Cavanaugh, Kate Dudley, Tippah Dwan, Ashlen Garrett, Lauren George, Lillian Gray, Mia Henderson, Mikeeley Hoch, Mikaela Ingram, Jasmin James, Stevie Lingman, Amy Morssinkhof, Stephanie Noble, Briony Payne, Brooke Pollock, Samantha Ryan, Lara Turner, Ashlee Unie.

Division 1

Coach: Christine Voge.

2016 finish: Fourth.

2016 season snapshot: The Lions battled to a four and six record in QSNL in 2016, finishing in fourth place, before being beaten soundly by Jaguars in the semi-finals. A side with a strong record in QSNL division 2, they will be looking to emulate that success at the top level in 2017.

Key players: Tippah Dwan (GA/GS): “Tippah has just been announced as a training partner with the Lorna Jane Queensland Firebirds,” said coach Christine Voge. “She’s the baby of our team at 17-years-old. She was a division two Lions player last year and has progressed this year to division one, to the Queensland Fusion squad. It’s been a rapid development. Tippah’s a special player and has beautiful natural ability. She has great attacking movement, is creative, quick and strong. She’s a star of the future.”

Lucy Benjamin (GS): “Lucy is a goal shooter and is in her second year with Queensland Fusion. We’ll expect some leadership from her and she’ll bring plenty of experience to our side,” Voge said.

What to expect in 2017: “It’s a new year, a year of resurgence for the Lions,” Voge said. “I took the Queensland 21s last year and this will be my first year with Brisbane West. It’s a rebuilding year. We have a squad with quality who will really challenge the best sides in QSNL.”

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

Division 2

Coach: Katie Shailer.

2016 finish: Third (City) and Division 2 runners-up.

2016 season snapshot: The Lions contested the QSNL division 2 grand final in 2016, losing by only four points to Brisbane North Cougars. They’re looking to go one better in 2017. “We beat the Jags in a really tough semi-final before winning our preliminary final in double extra time against the Claws,” said coach Katie Shailer. “We were leading the grand final until the last five minutes before being beaten by the undefeated Cougars. Our effort was fantastic.”

Key players: Jasmin James (C/WA): “Jasmin James was our captain last year and brings a lot of experience,” Shailer said. “She leads by doing and she does things at 100 per cent at all times – from her training ethic to her work on court. She’s a great leader to have in the middle of the court.”

Kate Dudley (GK/GD): “Kate has some really nice height in the defensive end and brings a lot of experience,” Shailer said. “She’s level headed and works really hard.”

What to expect in 2017: “We’ve retained a few players who will want to go all the way,” Shailer said. “The new girls into the team have already taken on board the positivity and enthusiasm of the other girls. We’ll take it game by game – it’s a cliché, but the aim is to get into the position where we can play finals again and go from there. We play patient, controlled netball. Our defenders will attack through the court and our shooting unit gives everything in defence. We’ll be aiming to be a well-rounded, balanced team.”

First five fixtures: Lynx, Wildcats, Panthers, Tigers, Bye.

Marlin Coast Marlins

Squad: Jacqueline Dupuy, Rachel Faanana, Chloe Foster, Chloe Fredericksen, Eleanor Horsburgh, Emma Lardner, Alexandra Morgan, Akalya Peterson, Claudia Philp, Jenna Singleton, Wendy Stafford.

Coach: Winnie Whately.

2016 finish: Did not compete.

2016 season snapshot: Marlin Coast Marlins make their QSNL return in 2017.

Key players: Jacqueline Dupuy (GA/GD): “Jacqueline came out of the Victorian State League program and came to Cairns about four years ago,” coach Winnie Whately said. “She’s 23 years of age and is highly talented. She’s a goal attack, but is equally as efficient a goal defence. She has a strong presence on court and leads our team as captain. She’s a dominant player in our Cairns regional league as well.

Chloe Foster (GK/GD): “Chloe has an amazing vertical leap,” Whately said. “She’s played in the couple of previous Marlins campaigns, so she’s got a lot of experience and is a vice-captain – one of our leaders on court. She reads the play very well – she’ll come out of nowhere and sweep across court to take intercepts. You don’t see her coming.”

What to expect in 2017: “It’s all very exciting for us,” Whately said. “All of the girls trialled are based out of Cairns Netball Association and with the new facilities they have and the opportunity to enter the state league program there is a lot of buzz. They’ve been working very hard since November – doing sessions at a local Fit360 gym, F45, a running program with a specialist coach and court work. They’re meeting four or five times a week to work on their own fitness and take this seriously. They’ve been given a fantastic opportunity and they’re really ripping in. Our hope is that we finish in the top two of the country pool –that has come through the girls own goal setting. We know it will be a hard slog, but we’re up for it.”

First five fixtures: Sharks, Steelcats, Thundercats, Bye, Steelcats