Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Firebirds Look Ahead after the Pain of Last Year's Exit

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Firebirds Look Ahead after the Pain of Last Year's Exit

Article excerpt

Byline: TERRY MALLINDER

DON'T let the pre-game antics in the change rooms fool you. The Firebirds mean business.

With her side to face the Melbourne Vixens in today's Super Netball opener, midcourter Caitlyn Nevins admits there's usually "a good sing and dance" before each game.

"Everyone has their own routine. We respect each other's needs," the 31-year-old explained.

"Some players need to listen to music and get really excited and pumped that way. Some of the girls just need to chill and conserve their energy.

"We just go about our business in our own way, but there's a lot of singing in our change room and a lot of different genres of music.

"Seems to work fairly well for our team."

It'll be a nice change from the final buzzer of last year's elimination semi-final ringing in their ears for most of the off-season.

When it sounded, they were one point behind Queensland rival the Sunshine Coast Lightning, who would go on to claim a second successive premiership in the second year of the competition.

It was one of five one-goal losses suffered by the team last season.

"It was devastating, that one-goal loss ... it certainly was very painful," Nevins recalled.

"But there's been a lot of time between now and then.

"We've grieved and also learnt a few things, and are just looking ahead to 2019."

Looking for atonement, the Firebirds made a false start in the preseason #TeamGirls Cup on their new home court at the Queensland State Netball Centre.

Nevins missed the tournament with an ankle injury as her side looked off the pace.

"We were disappointed with how we performed throughout that weekend, but it was a great wake-up call that you can't just expect to win - you have to put the hard work in," she said, "and since then we've trained with brilliant intensity and great purpose.

"We're putting each other under pressure . …

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