In this edition of The Season that Was, we take a look at one of the feel good stories of the 2009, the West Coast Fever. A team loaded with some of the best talent in Australia, they surprised everyone with their fearlessness and commitment. With one season under their belt, new found maturity and experience, this exciting young line-up will be aiming to surprise once more and continue to rise up the competition ladder.
West Coast Fever - 2009 Season Review
Placing - 7th, Won 5, Lost 8
West Coast Fever began the 2009 season as a team packed with young talent likely to notch up only a few wins. But, after a Round 5 thriller they proved to be the competition`s giant killers, knocking off the defending champions the NSW Swifts in extra time. They improved their 2008 placing by two rankings, but more importantly they earned respect and admiration from opposition teams and fans alike.
Coach Jane Searle is renowned for developing talented young players and that is exactly what she was able to accomplish in her first year at the helm. Her youthful yet fearless side notched up five wins and came tantalisingly close to causing numerous upsets. Searle now has a team brimming with confidence and enthusiasm, and is eager to compete against the best.
West Coast Fever boasts four of the starting seven players from the Australian U21’s World Youth Championship victory last year and proudly claims several future stars in Australian netball. Caitlin Bassett, Madison Browne and Shae Bolton were three of the most exciting players in the competition last season and can be expected to consolidate their performances in 2010. Bassett will again provide a wonderful target upfront and will be joined by NSW’s Leah Shoard in the goal circle, a player who was high on Searle’s hit list. Shoard`s court craft and work ethic will provide a great foil for the shooting power and more stationary game of Bassett. If both goalers can share the shooting duties and play to each other’s strengths, this combination has the ability to do some serious damage in 2010.
In the mid court, 2009 Fever MVP Madison Browne will lead the charge at wing attack and will be joined by Bolton and Andrea Gilmore. These players were the revelations from last season, wowing spectators with their determination and tenacity. All three play the game with courage and they’re not afraid to take the contest to the game`s top players - a trait that should hold them in good stead again in 2010. Behind the talented midcourt is the defensive combination of Susan Fuhrmann and Johannah Curran. Both players have grown in stature and experience over the past 12 months and taken their game the next level.
On its day, this Fever line-up can not only challenge the big guns, they also have believe they can beat them. They`re a tight knit unit and boast some of the most talented young players in intenrational netball. They are certainly a team to watch closely as it’s only a matter of time before the Fever become one of the powerhouse sides in the ANZ Championship.
Player to Watch
In - Sarah Ebbott, Leah Shoard (Steel), Janelle Lawson (Firebirds), Ashleigh Neal
Out - Stacey Rosman (Retired), Jasmine Keene (Thunderbirds), Nikala Smith, Bianca Franklin
2010 Squad – Caitlin Bassett; Emma Beckett; Shae Bolton; Madison Browne; Johannah Curran; Sarah Ebbott; Susan Fuhrmann; Andrea Gilmore; Josie Janz; Janelle Lawson; Ashleigh Neal; Leah Shoard
Coach – Jane Searle
WEST COAST FEVER - Australia
Home Stadia: Challenge Stadium
Membership Enquiries: Call (08) 9380 3700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Hottest Game in Town is back on 20 March 2010.
Click here for the full 2010 ANZ Championship Draw.
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