Via The West Australian
West Coast Fever are relishing the chance to put a dent in Collingwood’s Super Netball finals hopes in front of a bumper crowd at Perth Arena tomorrow night, according to coach Stacey Marinkovich.
The Magpies need a win to lock away their place in the top four, with fifth-placed Queensland Firebirds in hot pursuit.
But Marinkovich denied there would be any extra joy if the hosts prevailed against the Magpies, who boast former Fever stars Ash Brazill, Shae Brown and April Brandley.
Marinkovich, who overtakes Norma Plummer as Fever’s longest-serving coach, said her players needed to understand the importance of performing, regardless of who they confronted. “You take every chance of knocking off a team in the finals,” she said.
“To be able to play teams at their best and see where we are and what we can compete with is a great opportunity. It’s disappointing when players choose to leave something you’re building and creating.
“But there’s no ill will. There are friendships before and after ... then there’s that white line that comes game time.
“The girls are keen to show how much they’ve improved.”
Marinkovich said she was undecided on whether Kaylia Stanton or Kate Beveridge would start at goal shooter, saying both could make an appearance opposed to star goalkeeper Sharni Layton.
Marinkovich was delighted with how her team had trained in its past two sessions after much of the squad was affected by illness last week.
Fever are looking for just their third win of the season.
“The enthusiasm and energy is as if it’s round one or two,” she said. “They are going to fight out the rest of the season.”
West Coast are committed to retaining at least nine of their 10 squad members next season, despite their poor results.
Beveridge, 31, is the only player coming out of contract.
“We built this team with a long-term vision, not just something to have a quick fix,” Marinkovich said. “It is our intention to stand strong with the group. I’m excited by the future rather than daunted.”