The Adelaide Thunderbirds have named an unchanged line-up to take on finals bolter, the Melbourne Vixens, in Melbourne this weekend.
Head coach Dan Ryan may have selected the same squad, but will continue to look to the bench for the best on-court combination.
“The squad of ten has been unchanged for a while now, however I’m still seeking that balanced effort across a full match from the athletes. We’ve had a very close look at the opposition this week and will roll out a game plan and line-up that we think can do the job for us and like always pull from the bench if required,” said Ryan.
Ryan is careful not to underestimate the Vixens who fell from top spot on the ladder after a loss to GIANTS Netball last week.
“We have proven time and again that we can match it with any team in the league when everything is connecting and when we’re on task, but it has to be done for longer periods of time and in key moments to put ourselves in winning positions. The Vixens will be hurting after their loss to the Giants, so we need to be prepared for that and embrace the hard work that is ahead of us.”
It won’t be an easy finish to the season, with the Thunderbirds taking on the Vixens before returning to Adelaide to face a star-studded Collingwood line-up, but head coach Dan Ryan still has high expectations from his playing group.
“The expectations in our last two matches are exactly the same as what they have been every single week and that’s to step up to the contest and execute our respective roles for the team,” said Ryan.
“We continue to train and prepare to win netball matches and that won’t stop. What I am urging from all the athletes to really take pride in what they do out there and leave nothing out there. The next two weeks will be big challenges so we all need to step up and deliver because accountability is absolutely crucial.”
After being sidelined this season with a foot injury, promising midcourter Hannah Petty (Tango) will play in the Nine News Netball Cup on Friday night. Emily Burgess (Matrics), Jane Cook (Metro Jets) and Charlee Hodges (Contax) will also return to their premier league clubs this week.
Erin Bell (C)
Jade Clarke (VC)
Melbourne Vixens v Adelaide Thunderbirds
Sunday, 21 May at 3pm ACST
Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne
Watch live via Telstra TV. Available on delay via 9Now.