'Bring on extra challenge' ahead of women's season
THE Hornets women will have a target on their back this season.
That is the view of captain Leanne Bichel, but she welcomes the challenge.
The Hornets shocked the competition in its inaugural season to claim the 2016-17 Jodie Fields Shield, in which they defeated Sandgate-Redcliffe by five wickets in the grand final.
By Bichel's own admission the Hornets surprised themselves in doing so well. But now they have a yardstick for what they want to achieve in 2017-18.
"We have largely the same girls this season, and obviously yes we'd love to go back-to-back but we know there's a long road ahead of us,” Bichel said.
"We'll have a big target on our back now that's for sure, they'll all be out to get us this season.
"Last season we started off just wanting to play together and achieve playing at that next level of competition, so winning was a big bonus for us.
"We were hesitant at first to put a side in, but in the end with their natural ability it didn't seem to phase the girls.
"We proved we could do it in our first year and win the premiership.”
Bichel recalled the rush the team felt to be playing on Brisbane's iconic Allan Border Field, and that memory will burn fresh in their minds when the ladies open their season at home to Sunshine Coast on October 1.
The Hornets fielded an extremely young side last year, and Bichel felt that played to their favour moreso than against them.
"I think being so young they just play with no fear and enjoy themselves,” Bichel said.
"No one put pressure on them. We just treated each game like we were playing the first.
"We enjoyed ourselves and played cricket because that's all we wanted to do.
"We had some fantastic opposition, and the girls all thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to play against other women in (a competitive competition).”