There’s a First Time for Everything

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There’s a First Time for Everything
History has not only been made by the Queensland Firebirds being undefeated all season and winning the ANZ Championship Grand Final it is also the first Queensland Open side to ever win a title.
Queensland has had a turbulent rise to the top and this time they have got it right.  For many years there has been controversy and feuding with many ex National League Coaches being shown the door and not on great terms.  Let us have a look at the fine list of coaches that have gone in and out of the Netball Queensland doors.[member]
Early days we saw Michelle Fielke (Australian Captain) from South Australia, Sue Hawkins (was AIS Coach and now current England National Coach) originally from Victoria, Brenda Sherian AIS Head Coach and now John Paul College Netball Coaching Director and Head Coach in Queensland and Vicki Wilson (Australian Captain) from Queensland.
Netball Queensland signed up the coaching services of Roselee Jencke and it could have gone either way.  Last year Rose rallied her troops to fifth position and still not making top four as so many coaches in the past and tried to achieve.  2011 saw the recruitment of key players making an enormous difference to the outcome.  Wing Attack and Centre was an area Queensland were getting hammered and with only one Lauren Nourse she had to play one position which left the other open and vulnerable.  This year saw a solid performance from Chelsea Pittman week in and out.  The recruitment of players was solid and with some courageous coaching decisions throughout the season Rose has put herself at the top of the elite coaching pile.  The players admired and respected her and not only did they go out there for each other, you could see they were doing it for Rose.
Queensland boasts its Academy program and other player development pathways but is this really the reason they won.  No.  It was the coach and her wise recruitment decisions.  It is the relationship that the Firebirds have with the Australian Institute of Sport in recruiting young players from the program.  Queensland’s coach is Victorian and her assistant is from NSW.  Many of the players are not originally from Queensland as like many other sporting codes.
Our game is semi-professional with the push to make it professional.  Each team is a Franchise and it costs dollars to enter a team in the ANZ Championship.  Queensland Firebirds have a leader and a strong support network behind them and to me it looks like they are learning and getting stronger.
Queensland is now a team the best players will want to be a part of.  Success breeds success so Queensland’s future looks secure.  Bring on 2012.
Written by Melissa O’Brien