Suncorp Super Netball

Dawn of A New Era: Team Girls Cup Preview

Earlier this week, atop a fancy roof at Crown in Melbourne, Fox Sports and Netball Australia launched the 2022 Suncorp Super Netball season and the upcoming Team Girls Cup. Our team were lucky enough to be invited to this exclusive event and we spoke to some of the players about what to expect this weekend at the Team Girls Cup.

The Team Girls Cup of course is back in full swing after a two-year hiatus and is the first domestic event that Fox will host as part of the five year broadcast deal.

After a big signing period with a fair few surprises at the end of 2021, the Team Girls Cup will be the first time to see new players and new combinations.

Many teams have also brought training partners with them for the TGC and for many fans will it be a time to see what depth their team has behind the bench. The pre-season of 2022 has already been plagued with teams missing players and pre-season matches having to be postponed due to COVID. While 2022 will hopefully not have to resort to the hub system of previous years, it is possible the league will have to draw on training partners and more to ensure they are turning up with ten players for each game. And there lies the importance of Team Girls Cup as it provides a critical opportunity for new combinations, young players and future debutants to get a taste of the big stage.

The Sunshine Coast Lightning are in good spirits after a gruelling preseason. Cara Koenen was very excited to see how her competition this weekend after the shuffle of some of the players such as Sophie Garbin and Kiera Austin.

“Bit of unknown with all the teams and the shuffling of players so it will be a good see where everyone is at this weekend then I honestly think it could be anyone’s game.”

Cara also declared her teams’ intent to keep their finals record but do one better than last year stating “we [Sunshine Coast Lightning] bowed out in prelims last year, which was earlier than we would have liked. We ended up playing a really good game with lots to take away but definitely looking to one up that performance and do six straight finals to go all the way again”.

Suncorp Super Netball Players practising their game face and having some fun at the launch event.

Caitlin Thwaites’s, new role as assistant coach for the Melbourne Vixens, describes the event as the best way to get the best out of players and work with newcomers, Kiera Austin and Rahni Samason. Thwaites is embracing how the combinations will be a great way to bring something different and after a great few weeks of training as a team, looks forward to how it will come together. 

Matilda Garrett is excited about her teams chances this year. She describes the Thunderbirds as a young group that has really worked on their connections and is all about bringing something different to the court.

“Pretty exciting, we ‘re contending it’s awesome. We loved going to Orange last season, however last year we lost both of our games so it was nice to come back and get the two wins on the board.” 

Garrett is also looking forward to working with Tippah Dwan, who is already settling into the team well and hitting those two point shots. 

With the Magpies coming so close in 2021, Kelsey Browne looks forward to the team coming together after some solid sessions together and with the likes of Sophie Garbin coming into the team, Browne is looking forward to a brand new vibe coming into the 2022 season. 

“Honestly we have just been focusing on ourselves. I couldn’t tell you what the other teams have been doing for us. We haven’t had as much match play but for us it’s about finding out what we want to do out of our court and our identity and our brand of netball,” Browne comments.

After a disappointing non-selection for the Diamonds, Kelsey says for her this year and this tournament is about putting out consistent netball.

“For me this year I just want to put out consistent games this year. I have been working with Richo on a couple of things I can work into my game.”

Kelsey also states she will be trying out a new positiong this year, “Excited to get a bit run out in the C position a bit more and developing my game through there.”

Building from 2021 into the 2022 season, Browne comments that Nicole Richardson is looking to implement her vision from being in the Diamonds camp and build her communication into the team. 

“(Richo) is very transparent. So you know where you stand with her and you know what she needs from you. We have been working really hard in preseason so and I am really excited to see what we can achieve this weekend,” Browne comments.

Team Girls Cup starts tonight at 4pm AEDT at Parkville Arena and will be live on Fox Sports (Ch 505) and Kayo, and Facebook Live for International Viewers. Our team will be there, so you can also follow along on our socials @TheNetball_Post. If you attend or are watching, please Show Us Your Colours by tagging us on Instagram or Twitter.

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