Birds fired up for season start
Queensland Firebirds captain Gabi Simpson was more excited than most to get a look at the Super Netball draw for 2020.
When you go through what the Firebirds went through in their horror 2019 campaign, it is all about looking forward.
The injury-hit Firebirds collected the unwanted wooden spoon after one win and two draws from 14 games - and no victories at their new home at Nissan Arena.
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So the Round 1 match against the Melbourne Vixens at Melbourne Arena on May 2 cannot come quick enough for Simpson, who is also eagerly eyeing the first home game against Adelaide on May 10.
"For us, Round 1 is very important,'' Simpson said.
"We are very motivated given last season was how it was.
"We will grow over this off-season and be ready and raring to go. We want to put our stamp on this competition.
"The draw being out makes it a bit more real and gives me butterflies in my stomach to know what's ahead.
"That game against the Thunderbirds at home in Round 2 is also going to be huge for us. We haven't had a win at Nissan Arena and our fans deserve to see a great performance and a win.
"They are the most passionate fans in the competition and we want to touch base with them again.
"It really makes you feel so proud to be a part of this club.''
Meanwhile, the Sunshine Coast Lightning will have to be road warriors for the first half of the season with just two home games (Round 3 against West Coast Fever and Round 5 against Collingwood) in their first seven matches.
The pay-off for last season's beaten grand finalists is that five of their last seven games will be at USC Stadium as they bid for their fourth finals appearance in four years.
The Queensland derbies will be played in Round 4 (May 23, Nissan Arena) and Round 9 (July 4, USC Stadium).
QUEENSLAND FIREBIRDS 2020 DRAW
(Home games at Nissan Arena, Nathan)
Rd 1 - Vixens (a) - May 2
Rd 2 - Thunderbirds (h) - May 10
Rd 3 - Swifts (a) - May 17
Rd 4 - Lightning (h) - May 23
Rd 5 - Giants (a) - May 30
Rd 6 - Fever (h) - June 7
Rd 7 - Magpies (a) - June 13
Rd 8 - Swifts (h) - June 20
Rd 9 - Lightning (a) - July 4
Rd 10 - Giants (h) - July 12
Rd 11 - Fever (a) - July 18
Rd 12 - Vixens (h) - July 25
Rd 13 - Magpies (h) - August 1
Rd 14 - Thunderbirds (a) - August 7
SUNSHINE COAST LIGHTNING 2020 DRAW
(Homes game at USC Stadium, Sippy Downs)
Rd 1 - Swifts (a) - May 3
Rd 2 - Vixens (a) - May 9
Rd 3 - Fever (h) - May 16
Rd 4 - Firebirds (a) - May 23
Rd 5 - Magpies (h) - May 31
Rd 6 - Thunderbirds (a) - June 6
Rd 7 - Giants (a) - June 14
Rd 8 - Vixens (h) - June 27
Rd 9 - Firebirds (h) - July 4
Rd 10 - Fever (a) - July 11
Rd 11 - Thunderbirds (h) - July 19
Rd 12 - Magpies (a) - July 26
Rd 13 - Giants (h) - August 2
Rd 14 - Swifts (h) - August 8