Fever netball coach excited about Jamaican signings
PERTH, Australia (CMC) — Head Coach Dan Ryan said West Coast Fever are excited about the familiar faces returning combined with the fresh injection of X-factor players for the next Super Netball League season, starting in April in Australia.
The Fever signed three Jamaicans to complete its contracted list of 10 players for next season during the free agency period that ran from December 13 to 19 after a tumultuous few months sparked by a bitter pay dispute between Netball Australia and the Australia Netball Players’ Association.
Jhaniele Fowler, the current captain and ace goal shooter of Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls, returned to Fever for another two seasons, and she will be joined by international teammates, attacker Shanice Beckford and defender Kadie-Ann Dehaney.
“I’m so excited about what this team can become, and our mission is going to be to become the best team we possibly can be,” Ryan said. “All 10 players contributing, playing a role, using their skill sets and weapons to help get us across the line.
“It’s going to be ferocious West Coast Fever like always, but we are going to look a little bit different and that’s why I’m really excited.”
Ryan said the Fever had a clear strategy during recruitment to ensure the team was very versatile.
“I think the most important thing to take out of last season is that it really does take a full team of 10 to win the competition, which is what we saw from the Thunderbirds and Swifts,” he said.
“We’ve got a deep squad. We’ve got positional coverage in every single position on the court, and we can roll the subs in any position without having to make too many shuffles across the court.”
He added: “I’m excited by enough continuity that we can keep doing what we’re doing that’s seen us be successful over the past couple of years.
“But we also have some really new, exciting players coming into our line-up that can make us change the game, shift our game plan, shift our strategies and that unpredictable nature is going to be a bit of a competitive edge for us.”
In addition to the three Sunshine Girls, Fever retained international Jess Anstiss in the mid-court and attacking option Alice Teague-Neeld for three seasons, as well as Ethiopian-born Australia defender Sunday Aryang for a further two seasons.
The club added the experience of Kelsey Browne in the mid-court, while the arrivals of England Captain Fran Williams will bolster the defence.
The future is also bright for the Fever with the signing for three years each of Jordan Cransberg in the mid-court and attacking option Olivia Wilkinson.
Fever will play their first match of next season against hosts Sydney Giants on opening day on Saturday, April 13, at the Ken Rosewall Arena.