New look for Australian netball comp

A look at the eight Australian clubs in the revamped Super Netball competition.

THE BRAVE NEW WORLD OF AUSTRALIAN NETBALL

Adelaide Thunderbirds

Coach: Dan Ryan

Captain: Erin Bell

Key player: Jane Cook. The 19-year-old is the tallest player in the league at 201cms and could provide the Thunderbirds with their own version of towering Firebirds champion shooter Romelda Aiken. Cook could be invaluable backup for Karyn Bailey and Erin Bell.

2016 Aus Conference: 5th

Prediction: 8th. It's a tough ask for the new generation of Thunderbirds who have just three players remaining from 2016. However, with four imports and led by seasoned shooter Bell, they could create a few upsets along the way.

Team: Fiona Ehemann, Hannah Petty, Chelsea Pitman, Malaysia Kelly, Jane Cook, Jade Clarke, Emily Burgess, Erin Bell, Karyn Bailey, Ama Agbeze

Giants Netball

Coach: Julie Fitzgerald

Captain: Kim Green

Key player: Kim Green. Recently retired from international duty, Green will lead from the front and provide endless options across the court.

2016 Aus Conference: n/a

Prediction: 3rd. The lure of former Swifts premiership-winning coach Julie Fitzgerald proved powerful to former students Bec Bulley, Susan Pettitt and Green, but will the new Giants mentor be able to create a consistent side in their first year together?

Team: Bec Bulley, Jamie-Lee Price, Sam Poolman, Susan Pettitt, Jo Harten, Serena Guthrie, Kimberlee Green, Taylah Davies, Kristina Brice, Toni Anderson

Magpies Netball

Coach: Kristy Keppich-Birrell

Captain: Madi Robinson

Key player: Sharni Layton. Layton is at the peak of her game and was player of the tournament for the last two seasons. She made 62 intercepts, more than double the next best player in the league.

2016 Aus Conference: n/a

Prediction: 2nd. With seven capped Diamonds, five premiership players and the current Australian captain in Layton, the Collingwood-backed franchise has assembled a team of champions, but time will tell if they will be a champion team.

Team: April Brandley, Ash Brazill, Shae Brown, Cody Lange, Sharni Layton, Alice Teague-Neeld, Kim Ravaillion, Madi Robinson, Caitlin Thwaites, Micaela Wilson

Melbourne Vixens

Coach: Simone McKinnis

Captain: Kate Moloney

Key player: Jo Weston. Weston will step up as the linchpin in the Vixens defence following the defection of long-time servant Geva Mentor to the Sunshine Coast Lightning.

2016 Aus Conference: 5th

Prediction: 4th. The Vixens welcome back injured shooter Tegan Philip but lost a number of their headline players in the offseason. They need to quickly form new combinations with Philip, Mwai Kumwenda and Emma Ryde if they're to be successful.

Team: Jo Weston, Khao Watts, Chloe Weston, Emily Mannix, Liz Watson, Kate Moloney, Emma Ryde, Mwai Kumwenda, Tegan Philip, Kadie-Ann Dehaney

NSW Swifts

Coach: Rob Wright

Captain: Abbey McCulloch

Key player: Paige Hadley. Hadley will look to make her mark at centre following the departure of former international Kim Green, who has joined Giants Netball which is set to ignite inter-state rivalries.

2016: 2nd

Prediction: 6th. The Swifts will need to show they are able to withstand the loss of key players and build a new side mixed with youth and experience. They will look to imports Helen Housby and Sammy Wallace to boost their chances this season.

Team: Sammy Wallace, Maddy Turner, Emma Tickner, Amy Sommerville, Maddy Proud, Claire O'Brien, Abbey McCulloch, Sarah Klau, Helen Housby, Paige Hadley

Queensland Firebirds

Coach: Roselee Jencke

Captain: Gabi Simpson

Key player: Kate Shimmin. With prolific shooter Romelda Aiken taking care of goals, Shimmin has huge boots to fill in defence following the loss of key defenders Laura Geitz (pregnant) and Claire McMeniman (retirement).

2016 Aus conference: 1st. Secured back to back titles.

Prediction: 1st. Back-to-back champions Queensland Firebirds boast top shooter Romelda Aiken and Diamonds Caitlyn Nevins, Gabi Simpson and Gretel Tippett in key positions. Missing though will be centre Mahalia Cassidy who is out for the season after rupturing her anterior cruciate ligament. The Firebirds field a new defensive combination of Laura Clemesha, Kate Shimmin and Kim Jenner and they will be put to the test.

Team: Romelda Aiken, Laura Clemesha, Kim Jenner, Abi Latu-Meafou, Jemma Mi Mi, Caitlyn Nevins, Kate Shimmin, Gabi Simpson, Gretel Tippett. One to be added.

Sunshine Coast Lightning

Coach: Noeline Taurua

Captain: TBA

Key player: Laura Langman. The Silver Ferns great made her debut in 2008 and has not missed a game in nine seasons, including 141 consecutive games for NZ. New eligibility rules means Langman can no longer represent NZ so she will have a point to prove that she is still at the top of her game.

2016: n/a

Prediction: 3rd. With big names in key positions, the new Storm-backed team looks like title contenders on paper. They should also attract plenty of Kiwi support with coach Noeline Taurua, Laura Langman and Erena Mikaera all hailing from New Zealand.

Team: Caitlin Bassett, Kelsey Browne, Cara Koenen, Laura Langman, Madeline McAuliffe, Geva Mentor, Erena Mikaera, Karla Mostert, Laura Scherian, Stephanie Wood

West Coast Fever

Coach: Stacey Marinkovich

Captain: Natalie Medhurst

Key player: Kate Beveridge. Former Diamonds shooter Beveridge will look to return to vintage form following the loss of prolific sharpshooter Caitlin Bassett to the Sunshine Coast Lightning. She will need to capitalise on her formidable combination with Nat Medhurst.

2016 Aus conference: 4th

Prediction: 7th. With six players returning from last season, the young Fever side will look to disrupt new teams still forming their combinations early on in the competition. The loss of Bassett to the Sunshine Coast will sting.

Team: Jessica Anstiss, Kate Beveridge, Courtney Bruce, Verity Charles, Ingrid Colyer, Shannon Eagland, Stacey Francis, Annika-Lee Jones, Natalie Medhurst, Kaylia Stanton

AAP str/jds

Source AAP

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