Force focus on consistency against Storm

Round three of the Australian Netball League kicks off this weekend, with the Southern Force taking on the Northern Territory Lightning in two matches.

The Southern Force are currently third on the ladder on percentage and head coach, Brian Lines is keen to use this weekend to cement their position in the top half of the ladder.

“Like many of the other teams, we have had one win and one loss from the past two weekends, so things are pretty tight at the top of the ladder. If things continue like this, percentage will be very important come finals so we need to use every opportunity to our advantage,” said Lines.

Lines is impressed with his squad, but highlighted the need to build consistency following quarter fade outs.

“I think the girls are doing really well for where they are in terms of their exposure at this level. We have quite a young side, but they are really taking it to the rest of the competition.”

The Nine News Netball Cup Coach of the Year praised his experienced campaigners, who he believes are an integral part of the Force side.

“Kelly Altmann has been playing outstanding so far and providing that consistent engine room for our midcourt. She has played eight quarters on both weekends and we really rely on her leadership.

“It has also been great having Chelsea Lemke back playing for South Australia and she has really been building in confidence with every outing.”

The Force have been bolstered with a number of Thunderbirds over the last few weeks and Lines said these players have a huge impact on his side

“These are players who are trying to break into that national competition and are on the Thunderbirds list for a reason. We just want to keep giving opportunity to show what they can do and they really lift the side when they get the chance to play,” said Lines.

“Not many ANL teams have the luxury of having the Jamaican captain in their side! Malysha has been a wonderful inclusion on and off the court for us when we are lucky enough to have her.”

The Territory Storm are yet to win a game this season, but Lines believes they should not be underestimated.

“They are a bit of an unknown side. There are some players in there who have played under 21 and ANL before for the Territory, but there are girls aligned with Sunshine Coast that we aren’t so familiar with and who won’t be as familiar with their team members. It makes for an exciting weekend of netball.”

The Force and Storm first play on Saturday, 4 March at 1pm before a second match on Sunday, 5 March at 3pm, following the Adelaide Thunderbirds Suncorp Super Netball League game against the Sunshine Coast Lightning. Both matches are at Priceline Stadium and entry is free for all ANL matches.