2019 Firebirds Squad Confirmed

Netball Queensland and The Lorna Jane Queensland Firebirds have today named the eight athletes that will complete their 2019 squad. These athletes are in addition to the team of ten named in August and will gain valuable experience training alongside the contracted Firebirds, as they continue their journey toward becoming an elite netballer.

The inclusion and development of Queensland netballers into the Firebirds squad is an integral part of the Netball Queensland player pathway. It reinforces the commitment to providing young Queensland athletes with the opportunity to establish positive high-performance behaviours and take their game to the next level.

Netball Queensland have also announced the athletes that will make up the 2019 Queensland Fusion squad to compete in the Australian Netball League. The Queensland Fusion team underpins the Queensland Firebirds.

2018 Firebirds squad members Amy Somerville, Maddie Hinchliffe, Macy Gardner and Alexia Baker will be joined by four new athletes.

Leah Middleton, Bridey Condren, Rylie Holland and Ruby Bakewell-Doran, join the squad after being recognised for their performances and effort over the last 12 months at National and State League level.

Leah Middleton, who took home the 2018 Queensland Fusion Player of the Year, has demonstrated significant changes in her training habits, preparation and dedication and is happy to get the opportunity to step up and join the Firebirds training ranks in 2019.

“I’m so excited and honored about being named in the Firebirds squad for 2019 as it’s something I’ve worked really hard to achieve over the past couple of years. I focused heavily on getting my fitness and agility levels higher this year.” she said.

“I’m really eager to train with such amazing athletes that I’ve looked up to from a young age as well as take on any feedback from the coaches to learn and improve my game.”

Middleton credited the Queensland Fusion high performance environment for helping her focus on and achieve her netball goals.

“At Fusion I was surrounded by a group of really talented players that pushed me to step up and go hard at every session. I think that combined with the professional environment the coaches and support staff created, has really encouraged me to stay motivated.”

Mackay product Bridey Condren has had a whirlwind three years since moving to Brisbane in 2016 to complete high school and pursue her netball career. The young defender this year began a degree in biomedical science all while training with the Queensland Fusion and Brisbane West Lions.

“Training with Fusion was a brilliant experience, one that I look forward to being a part of again. You sort of don’t realise how much faster and harder these girls train until you’re alongside them and they are pushing you to be better, so working at that next level for me was amazing,” Condren said.

She will now take another huge step with her first introduction into the Firebirds training environment to come in 2019.

“Being named in the squad was definitely a highlight of the year, in all honesty the long-term goal was always making a training partnership, but this step up wasn’t a goal I expected to achieve this year. I’m most excited to be training at that next level and getting to train alongside our states best. It’s truly going to be an experience I won’t take for granted,” she said.

The Queensland Fusion squad under returning coach Tracey Jeanes-Fraser will welcome some new faces in 2019, vying for a place in the 12-person team to be selected in early February.

New to the Fusion squad in 2019 are Ruby Bakewell-Doran, Leesa Mi Mi and Eleanor Horsborough.

Bakewell-Doran’s selection in both the Fusion and Firebirds squads’ caps off a stellar year for the 19-year-old, in which she claimed a QSNL Division 1 premiership, QSNL Grand Final Most Valuable Player award, Queensland 19U Player of the Year award and Judy Sampson Memorial award for spirit, determination and dedication.

Eleanor Horsborough will join the squad in 2019 after making the move from the Marlin Coast Marlins in Cairns. Horsborough comes back into the Elite system after five years, reinforcing the value of strong performance at State League level through the Marlins and more recently with the Carina Leagues Club Tigers.  She previously represented Queensland in the 21 and under team in 2013.

With the completion of the new Brisbane Arena in early 2019, the Firebirds and Fusion squads will have the capacity to train side-by-side for the first time.

The access to the new state of the art facilities will provide a fantastic opportunity for development for all of the athletes in Queensland’s high-performance program.

The Queensland Firebirds Squad members will join the contracted Firebirds from January 7, while the Queensland Fusion will begin their pre-season in mid-January.

The Australian Netball League will kick off in May, with rounds concluding before the commencement of the inaugural Sapphire Series in June.

Players in both squads will become key signings of the seven new Sapphire Series licensees which can begin to contract players in December.

2019 Lorna Jane Queensland Firebirds extended squad members;

  1. Alexia Baker
  2. Ruby Bakewell-Doran
  3. Bridey Condren
  4. Macy Gardner
  5. Maddie Hinchliffe
  6. Rylie Holland
  7. Leah Middleton
  8. Amy Somerville

2019 Queensland Fusion squad;

  1. Alexia Baker
  2. Ruby Bakewell-Doran
  3. Bridey Condren
  4. Jada Gafa
  5. Macy Gardner
  6. Chanel Gomes
  7. Shenae Grant
  8. Maddie Hinchliffe
  9. Rylie Holland
  10. Eleanor Horsborough
  11. Leesa Mi Mi
  12. Leah Middleton
  13. Kristen Oxenford
  14. Amy Sommerville
  15. Mia Stower
  16. Ashlee Unie

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