Recap of last season
Last season was a perfect one for the Fever in Dan Ryan's first year as head coach. His side showed the ability to score like nobody else, piling on drubbings of the Sunshine Coast Lightning and other sides early on in the competition.
As the year wore on, the Fever hit their stride even more so, with a rejuvenated Alice Teague-Neeld in wing attack shocking the competition. The Fever finished second on the ladder, and beat the Melbourne Vixens in the major semi final to win the right to host the grand final, despite the agreement for it to be hosted in Perth anyway.
Once the whistle blew for the grand final, the Fever blew the Vixens off the court with an opening quarter blitz and kept their foot on the gas through the rest of the match, sealing the premiership in emphatic fashion.
How they can improve
There isn't much to say about a side that won the premiership in dominant fashion, did it with international stars at each end of the court, found a new tactical weapon at wing attack, and survived the year with their first choice wing defence injured for much of the year.
Last year the Fever through coaching curveballs at teams, had different ways to score at will, and different ways to slow down opposition teams when they needed to. There isn't much to improve on.
In: Kimberley Jenner (Queensland Firebirds).
Out: Stacey-Jayne Francis-Bayman (retired).
Squad: Courtney Bruce (c), Jess Anstiss, Sunday Aryang, Emma Cosh, Rudi Ellis, Jhaniele Fowler, Sasha Glasgow, Kimberley Jenner, Verity Simmons, Alice Teague-Neeld.
Training Partners: Ruth Aryang, Natalie Butler, Jordan Cransberg, Zoe Cransberg.
Knowledge that they've done it. The Fever were the team to beat last year, and the strength that comes with knowing that will take them through close matches in the depth of the season.
The team is hardened with experience, is versatile enough to throw out different combinations at any time, like Emma Cosh in goal attack at times last year, or Alice Teague-Neeld being a revelation at wing attack.
Coach Dan Ryan has proven that he has the team's backing, and that he can be creative to come up with new looks and plans to test opposition teams.
There aren't a lot of weaknesses in a team that won a permiership last season, and retained nine out of ten players for this year. The Fever have a coach who preaches innovation and versatility, and proved that, baffling opponents throughout the year.
The Fever have depth at every position, but do have a heavy reliance on Jhaniele Fowler at goal shooter. If Fowler goes down with an injury, does the system still work with Sasha Glasgow at goal shooter, and Teague-Neeld, Cosh and maybe Butler at goal attack to fill in the blanks?
A team full of stability and experienced players is wanting for a rising star. Sunday Aryang has already ascending to star status, now an established Diamond in her own right, and looking to grow further this year.
Rudi Ellis is also hardly a young star, having been in the Super Netball system for years now, even if she hasn't had regular minutes in the last year.
Ruth Aryang, as she recovers from an ACL injury, and the Cransberg twins will likely be rising stars if given extended opportunities in the Super Netball team, but there would have to have been an issue in the contracted team for any of them to have an extended run.
With an innovative coach, and continuity of playing squad, the Fever will look to sweep those in their way aside, and stride towards another premiership.
With two of the most effective bookends at each end of the court, it's hard to imagine the Fever losing their structure or fluidity. Even if they do, the players have trust in coach Dan Ryan's ability to strategise and equip them to beat teams standing in front of them.
While there will be challenges at different points during the year, its hard to see anyone posing enough of a challenge that unseats the Fever from the minor premiership, but once finals start, anything can happen.
Ladder Prediction: 1st
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