West Coast Fever eye Arena win


West Coast Fever vice-captain Caitlin Bassett and captain Ashleigh Brazill.
Picture: Matt Jelonek        www.communitypix.com.au   d451779
West Coast Fever vice-captain Caitlin Bassett and captain Ashleigh Brazill. Picture: Matt Jelonek        www.communitypix.com.au d451779

Fever will play the Melbourne Vixens on May 21 and will host a New Zealand team – Central Pulse – for the first time at the Arena on June 25.

“We need to get our first win at the Arena,” vice-captain Caitlin Bassett, of Subiaco, said.

Captain Ashleigh Brazill said it was no secret that Fever had some of the loudest supporters in the competition.

Brazill said the team were looking forward to playing in front of their home crowd in round one this Saturday at HBF Stadium against the Adelaide Thunderbirds.

“We’re playing against Khao (Watts) my old housemate and we’re both in positions that play against one another,” she said.

“Fever has an unspoken rivalry against the Thunderbirds.

“Hopefully we come away with the win.”

Fever won the Challenge Cup in February – the first official pre-season competition – and finished second at the Pre-Season Shootout in Sydney this month.

“We went in not thinking about the win-loss ratio but more about the fact that this year we’re playing a different style of netball, so we were trying to get that right,” Brazill said.

Coach Stacey Rosman experimented with several combinations during the pre-season competitions, including Kate Beveridge and Kaylia Stanton in the goal circle.

“Kate and Kaylia are good on the long bombs, which is what we needed (at the Pre-season Shootout) and Kate went into WA (wing attack) too,” Bassett said.

“Ingrid and Courtney got more court time and played really well.

“It will be hard for the coaches to pick a starting seven.”

The start of the 2016 Fever season comes after the Perth Lynx made the grand final and finals for the first time this season, after more money was injected into the women’s basketball team, allowing them to become full-time athletes.

“It shows that funding does improve performance,” Bassett said. “We want to train like full- time athletes but most of the team are working or studying as well.”

Brazill said it would be good to see netball go that extra step but they were doing well with what they had.