Premiership winner returns as Firebirds announce 2018 training partners

The Lorna Jane Queensland Firebirds are pleased to announce our list of eight training partners for 2018, which includes the return of 2016 ANZ Championship winner Hulita Haukinima.

Haukinima joins Laura Geitz as the side’s second Mum, following her netball comeback with Samsung Queensland State Netball League (QSNL) side Brisbane South Wildcats earlier this year.

She’ll be joined by former New South Wales Swifts goal attack Amy Sommerville, who has moved north after making eight appearances for the red and white.

Samsung QSNL MVP Ashlee Unie and Australian 19/U representatives Maddie Hinchliffe and Bella Sorby round out the side’s new inclusions, while current training partners Tippah Dwan, Alexia Baker and Kristen Oxenford retain their places.

Firebirds coach Roselee Jencke said the inclusion of eight partners – up from four in 2017 – would greatly benefit to the team.

“We pride ourselves on our competitive training environment and the addition of extra players will only help us raise the bar further in 2018,” Jencke said.

“We’re particularly excited to welcome Hulita back to the squad. She showed her quality through the 2016 season and has a bright future ahead of her at only 21-years-old.

“Amy’s arrival is also an exciting proposition. She was a standout at underage representative levels of the game and demonstrated her elite potential through the past two years with the Swifts. She’ll add plenty of experience and skill to our squad.”

Jencke said the chance to act as a training partner was an invaluable development opportunity.

“We saw last year just how important training partners were to our season and the overall development of talent coming through Queensland’s pathway,” Jencke said.

“All of our training partners got on-court during the pre-season, Kristen Oxenford was handed her debut in round one and Alexia Baker and Tara Hinchliffe got to experience the intensity of Suncorp Super Netball from the bench.

“Tara’s elevation to the full-time squad for 2018 shows how close these players are to reaching the elite levels of the game. We look forward to seeing all of our training partners play a vital role in a big 2018 season.”

Lorna Jane Queenland Firebirds 2018 training partners (Samsung QSNL club in brackets)

• Alexia Baker (Brisbane East Tigers)
• Tippah Dwan (Brisbane West Lions)
• Hulita Haukinima (Brisbane South Wildcats)
• Maddie Hinchliffe (Brisbane North Cougars)
• Kristen Oxenford (Golden South Jaguars)
• Amy Sommerville (TBA – formerly New South Wales Swifts)
• Annabella Sorby (Brisbane North Cougars)
• Ashlee Unie (Brisbane West Lions)

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