New derby is great for Queensland netball
OPINION - CLEM'S VIEW
THERE has been a lot of talk about our rivalry with Sunshine Coast Lightning ahead of our Super Netball season opener this weekend.
While there will be 20 determined athletes out on court striving for the win, more exciting to me is that 11 of us have come through Queensland pathways.
We'll now be going head-to-head with good friends we've lined up with wearing maroon before and we can't wait.
With all the speculation as to whether the Firebirds' fan base will be split, I believe this rivalry is the best possible thing for netball in Queensland.
There's been a lot of upheaval in our side this year and despite the recent success the Firebirds have had, the change is not better or worse - it's just different.
A lot of the girls who have come in to the squad were playing in the Australian Netball League last year and they were an important part of our culture as training partners.
We've broken down those barriers, so when they came in there was no period of standoffishness.
In week two of pre-season, the new players were already talking it up in the huddle.
Eighteen-year-old Kim Jenner was coming up and initiating conversation with our captain Gabi Simpson. There is a lot of energy and enthusiasm.
Since the start of pre-season, whenever I've thought about the round one clash it's been a burst of excitement followed straight away by a hit of nerves.
But the past few weeks that uneasy stomach-clenching feeling has fallen away.
It's my body reassuring me, saying 'you know you've got this, you know you're ready'.
There's been a lot of talk about me replacing Laura Geitz, but this is sport.
Coach Rose Jencke isn't giving me a starting position until she reads out the team list on February 18.
We've got three defenders equally worthy of filling the spots, so my focus will simply be on working as hard as possible to hear my name called on game day.