Sport

Gretel Tippett excited by Firebirds future

UPHEAVAL: The Firebirds' Gretel Tippett is looking forward to 2018 with great optimism.
UPHEAVAL: The Firebirds' Gretel Tippett is looking forward to 2018 with great optimism. Chris Hyde

NETBALL: Whatever happens in the final weeks of the 2017 season, the Queensland Firebirds will look to 2018 with great optimism, says star goal attack Gretel Tippett.

The winners of the last two ANZ Championship titles are facing an uphill battle to contest the first ever Super Netball finals.

They are fifth in the eight-team competition, and being three points behind the fourth-placed Magpies they will need everything to go right in the final two rounds.

Tippett, however, said while the focus was on their immediate challenge, there was genuine excitement about the long-term future.

She is confident the one- time domestic netball queens will have laid the foundation for another period of success.

During a season of upheaval after the retirements of Laura Geitz and Clare McMeniman, departure of Kim Ravaillion and knee injury to Mahalia Cassidy, youngsters Kim Jenner, Abigail Latu-Meafou and Jemma Mi Mi have been given all-important game- time by coach Rose Jencke.

"The fact we've been able to play all three young girls is really encouraging," she said.

"Going into next season they will have had that experience under their belt, which is really invaluable for us moving forward. We've got a lot to build on."

 

Gretel Tippett passes during the round 12 Super Netball match between the Firebirds and the Thunderbirds at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre
Gretel Tippett passes during the round 12 Super Netball match between the Firebirds and the Thunderbirds at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre Chris Hyde

The Firebirds have lacked consistency in the new competition, struggling to keep pace with the Giants, Melbourne Vixens, Sunshine Coast Lightning and Magpies.

Tippett said it had been a "learning curve".

"Sport is always evolving," she said. "What we've done for the past two years has worked really well for us.

"But for us to grow, we've got to change up our game style, and continuously improve. This season has been all about that."

The form of Tippett and shooting partner Romelda Aiken has been up and down, but they have spent extra hours on the training court working on their combination.

Tippett, who will look to reclaim her spot in the Diamonds team once the Super Netball season is over, was back to her best against the Adelaide Thunderbirds last week, registering 20 goals from 24 attempts and a game-high 33 feeds.

"It's been a challenge, but a challenge that I've loved," she said. "I've definitely grown the most this year out of the last few years."

 

Gretel Tippett is all smiles during warm up before the round four Super Netball match between the Firebirds and the Swifts
Gretel Tippett is all smiles during warm up before the round four Super Netball match between the Firebirds and the Swifts Chris Hyde

Tippett, still only 23, said she was in for the long haul with her local franchise.

"I grew up on the Gold Coast. I'm a Queensland girl," she said. "You never know what's around the corner, but I'm absolutely loving it at the moment."

To have any chance of finishing top four, the Firebirds will need to beat both the ladder-leading Giants tonight and NSW Swifts next week, while also relying on the Magpies to lose both their games to the Fever and Thunderbirds.

If they do miss out, the Firebirds plan to go down swinging by beating a team above them for the first time this season tonight in Sydney.

"That's the plan," Tippett said. "We just want to prepare really well ... then go out there put everything into it."

News Corp Australia

Topics:  gretel tippett queensland firebirds super netball



$23 million Bangalow plan 'twice the size of Ballina Fair'

BIG PLANS: One of the images in the DA for the Rural Industries Food Precinct, showing the site on Lismore Rd.

Residents say proposal 'highly inappropriate for Bangalow'

Flynn Transport owes $1.4 million in super and tax

Flynn Transport reportedly owes the Australian Tax Office nearly $1 million.

Government asks company to cough up nearly $1 million

Splendour punters warned to stay safe at the beach

SURF lifesavers have issued a warning to the thousands of festival revellers expected to hit the beach over the weekend.

Alcohol, drugs and swimming can be a deadly combination

Local Partners

Still downloading Game of Thrones? Expect a letter

IF YOU decided to illegally download this week’s season premiere of Game of Thrones, you might soon be receiving a letter in the post.

Sam Newman's Footy Show performance baffles panel

Sam Newman on the Footy Show

“Cat got your tongue tonight has it?”

OJ Simpson loses cool as he begs to go free

Simpson was convicted in 2008 of enlisting some men he barely knew, including two who had guns, to retrieve from two sports collectables sellers some items that Simpson said were stolen from him a decade earlier.

Tension at the parole hearing didn't stop OJ going free

Lead singer of Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, dies age 41

Coroner spokesman Brian Elias says they are investigating Bennington's death as an apparent suicide but no additional details are available.

Chester Bennington's body was found in LA at 9am local time.

Chester Bennington’s tragic Chris Cornell connection

Bennington sings at Chris Cornell’s funeral on May 26 in Los Angeles. Picture: AP

Bennington reportedly godfather of one of Cornell’s three children

Holy schnit: This steak's the size of a small child

WHAT A STEAK: Sarah Atkins was amazed to see the Pinnacle Pub crumbed steak was bigger than one of her four-month-old twin daughters, Jorja.

It's not every day you get served a steak as big as a baby

Tamara's bittersweet MasterChef exit (take two)

Mackay's Tamara Graffen has already gained valuable work experience since her elimination from MasterChef.

MACKAY cook's heartwarming send-off from finals week.

Island resort living from just $250 a week

Couran Cove on Stradbroke Island is undergoing a makeover. Photo: Steve Holland

Resort offering permanent rentals at almost half normal rental price

New era for stunning historic Rocky venue

St Aubins Village, West Rockhampton.

St Aubins Village reopens to the public after years of closure.

Cashed-up investors driving Ipswich's luxury housing market

SOLD: Elia Youssef bought a home on Hilton Drive Camira for $830,000.

New wave of interstate investors and young super savers in town

Boom or bust? '5.5 million moving into retirement'

National Seniors said that the inequalities with the retirement sector are "a big problem and it's a growing problem".

"It's a big problem and it's a growing problem."