RICH IN TALENT: Kacie Crawford and Kira Niesler (RIGHT) have been named in the Gladstone senior QPL team while Anna Morgan and Hannah Williams (LEFT) are part of the combined U17 team.
RICH IN TALENT: Kacie Crawford and Kira Niesler (RIGHT) have been named in the Gladstone senior QPL team while Anna Morgan and Hannah Williams (LEFT) are part of the combined U17 team. Matt Taylor GLA140219NETB

Players showed dedication to cause for selections

NETBALL: Gladstone will field strong senior and junior teams for the Queensland Premier League season which starts in late April in Bundaberg.

Promising young defender Abbi Cooper and experienced centre Melanie Dyball headline a versatile senior side while the under-17 team is made up of a combination of Gladstone, Biloela, Blackwater and Emerald players.

Gladstone U17 co-coach and Gladstone Netball Association committee member Sam Dippel explained what the QPL was all about.

"The QPL exists to provide a multi-division state-wide competition to determine the best association teams in Queensland," she said.

"It is open to divisions of Opens, Men, 17-and-under and 19-and-under along with Mixed and Masters."

The QPL culminates in a state titles weekend where the winning teams come together from around Queensland to battle it out for the state champion title in October 4-5.

This is the third year of the Queensland Premier League running and Dippel said the changes put in place for the new season will cover a wider area.

"Previously, Gladstone, Emerald and Biloela were apart of a North Zone which included teams from Mackay out to Longreach and down to Gladstone," she said.

"In 2019, we see a change in the zones which now include Rockhampton down to Caboolture, the zone in which we will participate in cluster weekend competitions."

"The changes will also allow Gladstone to join with other sister associations to help western associations with a chance for their players to play within the competition, if the association doesn't have enough numbers to support a full team."

With the first round of the QPL not until April 27-28 in Bundy, Dippel said the players are already determined to make an impact. "The commitment this team is already showing is absolutely outstanding," she said. "We are excited for the season ahead for both of our QPL teams."

Kacie Crawford, who is also co-coach of the U17 team, said to be named in the senior side was an honour.

"I've not played representative netball for Gladstone since I was in the juniors," she said.

"I'm actually stoked and both Mel (Dyball) and I have coached juniors, but it's special to play with someone that you have bonded with."

Goal-shooter Anna Morgan said to play netball is a great outlet.

"I have always really liked playing netball and it's a bit like home away from home," she said.

"I just forget about homework and things like that out on the court."

The top-placed teams in each of their respective divisions will go on to play the other top teams in the six zones across Queensland.

Tracey Davis will coach the Gladstone senior team.

DETAILS

April 27-28, May 4-5 and July 20-21 in Bundy; June (days TBC) in Rocky. Opens: Abbi Cooper, Olivia Whitla, Jessica Craig, Keeley Dillon, Sheena Gilmour, Eden Johnson, Kacie Crawford, Kira Niesler, Katie Turner, Mel Dyball. Shadow: Chloe Harm. U17: Anna Morgan, Hannah Williams, Cori Gilliland, Olivia Morgan, Courtney Fitzsimmons, Jessie Singh, Emma MacDonald, Taylah Laing, Gracie Moore, Zali Eckle. Shadows: Rory Antoniou, Georgia Staines, Annamonet Massey