Our new Firebird: Toowoomba talent joins Super Netball team
NETBALL: Dreams are often better than reality, but that’s not the case for Mia Stower.
The former Darling Downs Panthers goal attack made her Queensland Firebirds debut at the weekend and loved every minute.
“I got about eight minutes against the (Sunshine Coast) Lightning,” Stower said.
“It still doesn’t feel real. It’s a dream come true for me, absolutely fantastic.”
Game one of the 2020 season was a baptism of fire for Stower and her side – up against two-time Super Netball champions and last year’s beaten grand finalists the Lightning.
Stower also had the unenviable task of matching up against Karla Pretorius.
“We lost the match, but we can take a lot away from it,” Stower said.
“The whole team played really well; it just got away from us toward the end.
“It was a pretty tough game for us first up.
“They (the Lightning) are a very good side and have enjoyed a lot of success over the past few seasons.
“For me it was tough as well. Karla (Pretorius) is one of the best goal defence in the world in my opinion.”
After joining the Firebirds as training partner earlier this year, Stower said her experiences to date had only strengthened her belief and desire to succeed.
“I got a call from (Firebirds coach) Roselee Jencke in June, and I moved to Brisbane when I signed as a training partner,” she said.
“And everything happened so quickly after that.
“Super Netball announced they were increasing the teams from 10 to 12 players, Gretel (Tippett) announced her pregnancy, and then I was offered a place in the team.
“When I was younger, I remember admiring Romelda (Aiken) and now I’m in the team with her.
“Gretel is still a massive part of the Firebirds, she’s a great mentor and friend.
“It has been a fantastic experience, and everything about it has made me realise this is exactly what I want to do.
“All the sacrifices, the highs and lows have been worth it.”
Stower joined the Firebirds along with Lara Dunkley and Tippah Dwan.
Jencke said all three brought an exciting dynamic.
“We are fortunate to have such depth of talent in our pathway that enables us to bring in players of this calibre,” Jencke said.
“Tippah and Mia represent an exciting generation of new Queensland shooters, and while they’ll no doubt receive a lot of attention in that position this year, I’m confident they both have the talent and desire to make an impact at this level, especially with the support and mentorship of Gretel.
“Critically, I think all three players complement the team dynamic.”