The West Coast Fever go into 2022 with a relatively unchanged line up, with only one new face joining the playing list for 2022.
The Fever brought in former Queensland Firebird Rudi Ellis into the mix to work alongside Courtney Bruce, Sunday Aryang and Stacey Francis-Bayman for their 2022 squad. Western Australian pathway athlete Olivia Lewis departs the club, moving to the Melbourne Vixens.
While the playing list only had one change, the biggest change for the Fever came at the top with Stacey Marinkovich finishing her tenure at the Fever, as she now focuses on her role as head coach of the Australian Diamonds, with Dan Ryan taking over.
|Courtney Bruce||Olivia Lewis ( Vixens)||Rudi Ellis (Queensland Firebirds)|
|Sunday Aryang||Stacey Marinkovich (Australian Diamonds)||Dan Ryan (Leeds Rhinos)|
|Alice- Teague- Neeld|
Biggest Signing: Dan Ryan
After a season with Leeds Rhinos in the Vitality Netball Super League over in England, Dan Ryan comes in to lead the West Coast Fever into a new era.
In the season Ryan spent at the Rhinos he was able to take his side to the finals in the club’s inaugural season earlier this year.
Ryan is no stranger to the Suncorp Super Netball, coaching the Adelaide Thunderbirds for two seasons (2017 and 2018) after serving as an assistant coach under Jane Woodlands-Thompson from 2012- 2015, including in the club’s championship win in 2013.
In 2022, Ryan will be looking in continue the success that the Fever has had over the past few seasons and take the club a few steps further to secure their maiden premiership.
Biggest Departure: Stacey Marinkovich
The loss of coach Stacey Marinkovich leaves a big hole in not only the Fever, but Western Australian Netball as a whole.
Marinkovich first joined the Perth Orioles back in 2002 after moving from the Queensland Firebirds. Little did she know that it would be a club that she would be a part of for 20 years.
Her tenure as coach at the Fever has been the most successful period in the clubs history, making two grand finals (2018 and 2020) after climbing up the ladder.
Although Marinkovich may be gone, her name will be forever etched in West Coast Fever history with the club’s Most Valuable player medal being renamed the Stacey Marinkovich Medal.
It’s big shoes to fill for incoming coach Dan Ryan as Marinkovich departs to start her next chapter as head coach of the Australian Diamonds.
Projected Starting Seven
The starting seven will remain the same, with the Fever likely moving forward with similar line up to this season. Jhaniele Fowler will continue to dominate and keep the starting seven goal shooter bib in her grasp.
Same goes for the Fever defensive end with Courtney Bruce and Sunday Aryang proving in 2021 to be a dangerous pairing. Having England international Stacey Francis-Bayman out in wing defence will create quite the headache for the Fever’s round one opponent.
They can switch things up by bringing in new recruit Rudi Ellis into the defensive line to keep the shooters guessing. With Bruce and Aryang strong and proven together, they’ll get the start come round one.
Verity Charles and Jess Anstiss will combine in the middle, with Charles providing the speed and Anstiss bringing that extra level of defensive pressure right across the court.
The Fever have the flexibility to bring on Emma Cosh in wing attack for an extra level of speed in the midcourt to combine with either Anstiss or Charles.
Meanwhile, the goal attack position is still for the taking when it comes to the starting seven, with both Alice Teague-Neeld and Sasha Glasgow bringing different things in the role.
Teague-Neeld will get the nod to start come round one with Glasgow to come on later in the game to keep defenders on their toes.
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The Fever have arguably one of the best shooting circles in the competition, lead by Jhaniele Fowler, who is already extremely hard to stop.
Add in one of Alice Teague-Neeld and Sasha Glasgow into that circle and it’s a force that will leave defenders scratching their heads.
Both combinations have worked extremely well in 2021, which adds an element of unpredictability when it comes to matching up against opposition defences.
Expect the change to come just before the Power Five. While both Teague-Neeld and Glasgow are incredibly capable of taking the two point shot, defenders already have to reassess with the new goal attack, and adding the Super shot into the mix could work in the Fever’s favour.
There is not much that separates Teague-Neeld and Glasgow in that Super Shot period, with Teague-Neeld shooting at 54 per cent during the Power Five in 2021, and Glasgow shooting at 58 per cent.
With new Fever coach Dan Ryan a shooting specialist, be prepared for Fever’s goal circle to go up another level. Ryan is already saying that he can see Fowler who is already unstoppable go to another level in 2022.
Just like the attack end the midcourt goes unchanged, with Verity Charles, Jess Anstiss and Emma Cosh all returning for the 2022 season.
One of the Fever midcourt’s biggest strengths is its versatility. With both Charles (C/WA) and Anstiss (C/WD) being able to play multiple positions, it allows for that flexibility and change if the game isn’t working in their favour.
Charles led the competition for goal assists in 2021 with 336 for the season. One the many things she brings to the team is that strong connection with Fowler, which shows in her domination of the stat.
Anstiss played a lot more time in the centre in 2021 where she was able to complement Charles nicely in the front end, and add her extra defensive pressure right up the court. The numbers reflect that, with Anstiss having ten intercepts and 24 deflections in 2021.
Cosh didn’t see much court time in 2021 but does bring that extra injection of speed into the Fever front line. She had 98 goal assists from 158 circle feeds in 2021, further notching up 129 centre receives.
The Fever’s defensive group is just as good as anyone’s in the competition, with captain Courtney Bruce leading the defensive line and continually proving that she is one of the best defenders in the world.
Having 48 intercepts and 97 deflections for the 2021 season, she played a key role in getting the Fever into the preliminary final.
Over the last two seasons, Bruce has created a dangerous defensive partnership with Sunday Aryang, the youngster really cementing her spot in the teams starting line up in 2021.
Aryang had 24 intercepts and 50 deflections in 2021, with her season being recognised by being selected in the 2021/22 Diamonds squad.
After playing predominately in goal defence in her time at the Fever, Stacey Francis-Bayman has moved out into wing defence. The move worked for the Fever having 10 intercepts and 33 deflections for 2021, playing against some of the worlds best wing attacks.
The Fever have added Rudi Ellis into the mix, with the chance to train against one of the best shooters in the world in Fowler, it’s another opportunity to advance her game in 2021.
While she may not get much court time in 2022 being behind Bruce, when she does step out on court expect her game to go to a whole new level.
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