deucelow

deucelow2024-07-08T11:45:30+10:00

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  • deucelow
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      Yeah, Martina has some serious talent. Another sad recent loss for Queensland netball, but it seems she’s made the right move for herself and her career. The Firebirds are an appalling mess and the Lightning roster is jam packed, especially with shooting. (Koenen, Fretwell, Batcheldor and Charlie Bell).

      As for the poster who suggested Martina would have been good pickup for the Giants instead of Harten – well yeah, I agree but that’s just not how Julie Fitz rolls. When you’re one of her inner circle you don’t leave until retirement and Harten would have to be first among equals. Sammy Saunders, JLP and Harten all still play for her and they were on that Magic team EIGHT years ago. Manu’a got her first SSN contract with the Giants when she went across the ditch as well.

      Not coming through the NSW pathways and not being a Julie Fitz intimate Martina had as much chance at a Giants contract as I do. And I’m fat, forty five and male.

      deucelow
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        Post count: 20

        Damned if they do, Damned if they don’t @Museboy.

        The import rules were in part designed to stop clubs getting into a direct bidding war against either each other or SSN, encouraging local development over buying in talent.

        With the financial situation being what it is for NNZ, I think saving teams from themselves through controlling their costs may well have been a necessary evil. The alternative would have been the ANZ clubs stuck with either contracts they couldn’t honour once the SKY cut came, or at the very best a simultaneous mass player exodus as salaries got cut when the pay tv money ran out anyway.

        Netball Australia I doubt would have been anywhere near as prudent in the same situation.

        deucelow
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          Post count: 20

          Queensland netball is a small place. I’m not a super close insider or anything but I know through the grapevine that Mia Stower was treated fairly horribly. Bulley went from elevating Mia to the team leadership group to literally cutting her from the list altogether inside just a few months. My understanding is Mia actually had a foot injury that she was more or less cajoled to play through. Later when her contract was ended her poor play -whilst injured – was held against her when they decided to let her go.

          The whole thing was handled fairly badly. But more importantly all the time invested in Mia and her netball development has been pretty much wasted. At least as far as Firebirds go. It’s incredible waste of potential and opportunity if nothing else.

          Mia won a Brisbane club premiership in 2021 and her teammates included Reilley Batcheldor, Leesa Mi Mi, Charlie Bell and Ash Ervin. Every single one of those girls started at Firebirds. Every single one of them left to go to Lightning. Because of the contracts given to Steph, Kara, Liz and Courtney they are all on the league minimum so it certainly isn’t for the money either, I believe all three contracted girls are on league minimums.

          Meanwhile Mia is trying to repair her netball career through uni netball, and might be lost to the professional game forever. That has to be at least part an indictment of Bulley. There is incredible talent developing in Queensland netball. The Firebirds get hold of it – and then either fail to develop it properly or alienate the talent so much it literally would rather play an nour and a half away for virtually no money.

          As for Grets, her interview during a break in a Firebirds game from a month ago maybe? I remember her husband and eldest were at the monster trucks the same night. During that interview they asked Gretel id she was coaching or assisting the team in anyway. She was like no, they actually told me I’m a distraction so I’m just here with the ex-players to support the Firebirds.

          Literally “a distraction”. It stood out to me hugely. How would Gretel Bueta ever be a distraction? Why would you not want her round in any capacity? It’s not like the Firebirds are winning games to get distracted from either huh?

          deucelow
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            Brilliantly put @Swifts1.

            Agree with every point you made.

            deucelow
            Participant
              Post count: 20

              Not surprised. A disastrous tenure, where Bulley literally has literally wasted years. Not one of her players has improved significantly under her tutelage. Results have been dire. The ugly departures of Sara Francis-Bayman and Mia Stower hinted at real problems under the surface with Bulleys personality and approach.

              Those hints proven correct in sensational fashion. Netball doesn’t do mid season firings normally otherwise I would have predicted this on here. But if you go rewatch the Thunderbirds win you’ll see where I’m coming from – I thought she was incredibly tense and coaching for ger job that night.

              Stupidly I assumed that meant coaching for next year, I didn’t realize Bec has become a week to week proposition. The strange absence of Dwan and Dunkley from the starting lineup was a big hint. Gretel Bueta in a throwaway interview sort of gave an insight into the level of disconnect.

              They said family emergency, but I found her absence the other week very convenient too.

              I’ve posted elsewhere here how badly run the Firebirds are. Feel no joy in being proved so firmly correct. A legacy of absolutely nothing, no development and broken strained relationships. Firebirds fans deserve far better.

              The same fools who hired Bulley will choose her replacement. Firebirds netball is going nowhere very very fast.

              deucelow
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                @kwkiwi – It’s not the departure of NZ girls to Australia that is the issue. The problem is NZ girls not being exposed week in week out to that level of elite competition.

                I still think Jane Watson is the best defender in NZ netball and I’ve no doubt playing and training with and against Fowler is a huge part of her development story. Fowler went to SSN and played and trained with and against Courtney Bruce – who was named the best player in the world last year. The two Aryang sisters look like potential world beaters. They play and train with and against Fowler.

                You can repeat this across the competition. The English Roses, Jamaican Sunshine Girls and South African Proteas have made huge strides in international netball in the last eight years, and largely at the Silver Ferns expense. This is because they are happy to send their top players to the SSN and expose them to the elite competition because it makes them better players. Shamera Sterling, Latty Wilson, Kadie-Ann Dehaney, Shanice Beckford, Karla Pretorius, Geva Mentur, Helen Housby, Jo Harten, Ine-Mari Venter, Rolene Streutker, Fran Williams, Romelda Aiken, Jodie-Ann Ward, Francis-Bayman, Ell Cardwell, Shimona Jok and more all moved to the SSN and helped elevate the level of competition.

                In the old ANZ Championship NZ girls got to compete week in and week out with and against that level of talent, literally the best in the world. Since the split, NZs comp has obviously suffered in quality. This is partly the reason for SKY lowball offer in the first place. The ANZ now doesn’t attract the best players in the world to make current and future Silver Ferns better. Recruitment is distinctly second tier in comparison – the ANZ championship imports are literally girls right on the edge of SSN viability. Bassett, Samasson, George Fisher and Potgeiter are all girls that weren’t quite good enough for SSN when they took a NZ contract.

                Obviously this is not sustainable. The Silver Ferns need their players playing the very highest level of club netball possible to develop them for international netball. This hasn’t been happening for eight years and NZ Netball is facing an existential crisis around it. The Silver Ferns-Diamonds rivalry will always be special, but the talent gap between the countries is widening rapidly. With SKY pulling the pin, it’s not unfair to call this an almost existential crisis in NZ netball. A shrinking domestic league and no access for Silver Ferns players to develop at the highest level is a recipe for future disaster.

                deucelow
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                  Sky is backing basketball at least in because it is an Olympic sport and more unisex in nature. Mens netball is nowhere in comparison.

                  I posted a lengthy post elsewhere on why Netball NZ seeks a return to the old days of a trans tasman competition. The player and coaching drain for New Zealand netball has been enormous. Half the current Giants team in the SSN are literally from the 2016 Magic in the old ANZ Championship. Julie Fitz, Sammy Winders (nee Saunders), Jo Harten and Jamie Lee.
                  Extrapolate that across the competition and you can see why Netball New Zealand is concerned. That sort of talent drain to your biggest rival is seemingly insurmountable in the medium and long term.

                  But I just can’t see why it would happen. Netball Australia does not have the leverage with its broadcast partners to seek expansion like the AFL or NRL have done. It’s pointless to pretend otherwise. The eight team, four game model of SSN was literally designed to be broadcaster friendly and Foxtel acquired the rights to it on that basis. The SSN covers the Brisbane, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide markets. Adding regional markets will significantly add to broadcast cost for an extremely limited return. The advertising dollars and broadcasting slots aren’t really there either.

                  What is in this for Netball Australia? What is in this for Foxtel? It just seems like a non starter to begin with.

                  deucelow
                  Participant
                    Post count: 20

                    Fascinating article.

                    Not terribly surprising that the Kiwis would like to expand back to a trans tasman competition. The changed landscape of netball over the last ten years has produced a variety of winners and losers. The Jamaican Sunshine Girls I would argue have been the biggest winners. And the Silver Ferns have been the biggest losers.

                    The old ANZ Championship was lopsided and competitively unbalanced with the Australian teams having a large advantage over the New Zealand teams. Be that as it may, it was still the highest standard and most competitive netball league in the world, and New Zealand netball had a seat at the table. The flow on benefits for any international program are fairly obvious – having your best players compete week in week out at the very highest level with and against the other best players in the world.

                    The arrival of SSN obviously changed that for NZ netball. NZ players now play in a competition a tier or more down in quality from SSN and it’s perhaps not surprising that the Silver Ferns record over the last ten years has shown a fall off. NZ losing its seat at the top table of club netball has also seen an enormous exodus of foreign talent from the country straight to the SSN, further damaging the quality of the sport over there.

                    Julie Fitz, Jo Harten, Jamie Lee Price and Sammy Saunders were at the Waikato Bay Of Plenty Magic in the last season of the ANZ Championship in 2016. That’s half the Giants team from last weekends SSN and the coach. Kristiana Manu’a was also part of that team but now plays for the new Melbourne Mavs team. Jhaniele Fowler played five seasons in New Zealand before bolting for the SSN when it commenced. Chelsea Pittman was at the Pulse in 2016, Serena Guthrie at the Mystics and Mwai Kumwenda was at the Tactix. Dame Noelene was the coach of the Steel.

                    The arrival of SSN lead to all that talent – and more – being lost to New Zealand netball overnight. Jane Watson was a teammate of Fowler whilst she was in New Zealand and I believe she developed enormously training and playing with and against her as an example. Fowler went over to Perth and now Australia have Courtney Bruce – who developed enormously training and playing with Fowler, was named the best player in the world last year. The Aryang sisters potentially look like world beaters. They currently train with and against Fowler. Meanwhile Watson is still the best NZ defender going around IMO. The lack of exposure to that elite competition is dragging New Zealand netball down.

                    New Zealand netball has toiled on manfully, but it ultimately can’t compete in the recruitment stakes. Meanwhile the England Roses or Sunshine Girls are happy to send their best players to the SSN and allow them to benefit from the experience. Jo Harten, Helen Housby, Fran Williams, Ell Cardwell, Jhaniele Fowler, Romelda Aiken, Latty Wilson, Shanice Beckford, Shamera Sterling, Jodie-Ann Ward, Kadie-Ann Dehaney. The Roses and Sunshine Girls have in many ways overtaken the Silver Ferns and the elite level competition their players are exposed to is definitely a big reason in why.

                    So it’s not terribly surprising that New Zealand netball seeks a return in many ways to how it used to be. The surprise is in why this would be seriously entertained in any way. The article cites expansion in the AFL and NRL as a hopeful precedent on behalf of broadcaster Fox.

                    This is baffling logic. Foxtel bought the rights to SSN in part because of the element of control it gave them over the sport. SSN had already introduced extra time for drawn games, the super shot and rolling substitutions because the previous broadcaster had demanded them. SSN introduced these changes arbitrarily with virtually no consultation with any stakeholders – players, fans, clubs – but simply at the behest of the broadcast rights holder. Foxtel priced this in and have continued in the same vein – when the Collingwood Magpies folded for instance Foxtel insisted their replacement be another Melbourne team.

                    Netball Australia financial position has deteriorated significantly since the commencement of SSN. A sport that was already dangerously subservient to its media partners now finds itself on even less of a footing. Foxtel is calling all the shots and has been since they acquired the rights to SSN. The logic of that is pretty simple really – as Foxtel have been calling the shots since they arrived if they’d wanted expansion then netball would already have it.

                    The original soccer A League started on Foxtel as an eight team, four game a weekend competition that concluded with a final series. Sound familiar? As the A League tried to expand they received significant pushback from Fox to the point the relationship deteriorated entirely. The A League had to ultimately find a new broadcast partner and the sport is in a dangerously transitory position as a consequence. Just like SSN, the original A League had the Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide markets covered. Expansion offered nothing tangible for Foxtel, indeed quite the opposite. Foxtel viewed it as having to pay more in costs to cover more games and teams, but without any real boost in subscriber numbers to offset the cost. In addition, finding timeslots and trying to sell advertising for those timeslots becomes a losing proposition as the eyeballs just aren’t there.

                    Ask a rugby fan about Foxtel and its commitment to expanding a sport they’re broadcasting.

                    As I said fascinating article. But if NZ Netball is really relying on Netball Australia to help forge a path going forward then you’d have to be extremely worried. Watch this space.

                    deucelow
                    Participant
                      Post count: 20
                      in reply to: 2024 SSN ROUND 5 #1371852

                      Wow. You couldn’t make it up could you?

                      So frustrating and in my view needless. This has to be the last time this – or some variation of this – happens. The athletes and fans deserve better.

                      deucelow
                      Participant
                        Post count: 20
                        in reply to: 2024 SSN ROUND 5 #1371847

                        Incompetence in other sports has no bearing on incompetence in netball in my view.

                        Just keep the score correctly. At this level it has to be the absolute bar minimum requirement. Especially as we’ve recently gone through a similar incident in this very same league.

                        deucelow
                        Participant
                          Post count: 20
                          in reply to: 2024 SSN ROUND 5 #1371838

                          This sport just can’t get out of its own way right now.

                          This is unacceptable, Not anywhere near close to good enough.

                          deucelow
                          Participant
                            Post count: 20
                            in reply to: 2024 SSN ROUND 5 #1371836

                            This is nuts. The first competitive, non blowout game of the round and it ends up becoming an embarrassing spectacle.

                            Again.

                            Not a great start to this brand new era is it.

                            At least with the twenty goal blowouts the officials incompetence is largely hidden from us. Here it’s on full display.

                            Again.

                            deucelow
                            Participant
                              Post count: 20

                              Also what I find is strange is why have the firebirds lost all the qld talent to the Lightning? Is the culture that bad, is it the mean girls club? They seem very cliquey and if you’re not in the cool group you feel left out?

                              Seems there is definitely a culture problem. Leesa Mi Mi and Charlie Bell both bolted the Firebirds system to go over to the Lightning. There aren’t any girls going in the other direction.

                              I mentioned Mia Stower. She has no SSN deal this year and is playing for her mother who is a coach at the Bond University Bull Sharks. Her mother had some revealing quotes.

                              Bec Stower couldn’t be happier to see her daughter join the Bull Sharks’ squad, especially after such a tumultuous year.

                              “Mia has lived and breathed netball for a very long time, she worked so hard, travelled so many kilometres, and shown so much resilience. She has always been a team first player, for way longer than it’s been fashionable I might add! She has sat behind Gretel and watched and learned, waiting for her opportunity. Firebirds was her home and where she wanted to be, so to be told she was no longer required was heartbreaking for her, and very hard for me to watch. She was basically awarded the ‘best human award’ at the Firebirds in 2022, and was named in the leadership team in 2023, so she was primed and ready to make her mark on Super Netball in 2024. But sport can be so brutal. It just wasn’t meant to be.”

                              She says Mia’s arrival at Bond played out very differently to how people might assume.

                              “To be honest I didn’t even know if she would play netball anymore. That’s how upset she was [after the Firebirds delisted her]. But I gave her space to self-reflect and work out what was important to her. She decided that she just wanted to be close to family to help get her mojo and love for the game back.”

                              Being proximate to family was one thing, but her final playing destination was still far from certain.

                              “I assumed Mia would head back to Brisbane North Cougars for the 2024 season even though I did jokingly pull the ‘but I gave birth to you!’ card!” she says.

                              “Mia previously found her netballing home at Cougars and I credit her ability to take the next step to the Firebirds to Liz White and Amanda Vanderwal, her coaches there.”

                              The Firebirds seem more interested in bringing girls home to Queensland who had already left – Rav, Tippah – than developing the plentiful young talent already available locally. Losing both Mi Mi girls is a red flag for me – Leesa would rather sit behind Liz Watson than compete for an in theory easier starting spot at Firebirds?

                              The Firebirds should sack the entire front office and hand the team over to Cougars coach White. With seventeen premierships in twenty three years and a development record like the one I’ve mentioned I think she’d have brought success years ago. The current Firebirds administration is massively underachieving and there is no legitimate reason why that should be happening.

                              deucelow
                              Participant
                                Post count: 20

                                I wish the Mavericks all the very best luck in the world. I am concerned that the lessons of the Magpies have not been fully learned and I hoped that Netball Victoria would have some sort of minority shareholding in the new SSN franchise. Similar to how Netball NSW owns stakes in both the Giants and Swifts.

                                Instead they have gone the 100% private equity route again, and as other posters have noted are not attracting enormous amounts of local talent. Partnering with SEN does bring a vast amount of sports marketing and promotion potential and that could be a real x factor as well.

                                The financial problems of netball are well known but it is a shame there wasn’t perhaps the possibility of a Tasmanian or Canberra team. Or even one from NQ. Speaking broadly I think the Netball Australia model of mixed public and private ownership has now been demonstrated to have been the wrong one. Would have loved to see a Big Bash style model for SSN where Netball Australia owned all of the teams and thus was able to ensure that costs were both controlled and shared evenly across the competition.

                                The rule differences make it very difficult now, but I do also think that there are significant opportunities being missed in inter Tasman netball. Would TBirds fans turn up to watch a three game series against the ANZ Premiership winning Northern Mystics for the Australasian Championship? I’d like to think they would.

                                deucelow
                                Participant
                                  Post count: 20

                                  Agree with Tully. Minus Neville and Cardwell feel the TBirds slide all the way back to where they were pre premiership.

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