Ipswich Flyers coach Tricia McInally accepting the award for Volunteer of the Year at the Ipswich Sports Awards dinner.
Ipswich Flyers coach Tricia McInally accepting the award for Volunteer of the Year at the Ipswich Sports Awards dinner. Nick O'Sullivan

Flyers ready to rise with coach back from China

JUST back from a holiday in China, Ipswich Flyers coach Trish McInally sounded relaxed and ready to go.

However, she has an added reason to be excited about the new SEQ Challenge open netball competition starting tomorrow night.

Unlike previous seasons, this year's format is 14 weeks of games leading into finals.

"I'm looking forward to the season because there's no stops and starts,'' McInally said, preparing for the season opener against the team from the South East Men's and Mixed Netball Association.

"It's great.

"You know where you are at. You know where you are finishing and you know what you want.''

As a loyal Ipswich coach, McInally appreciates being able to plan properly for the finals starting in mid-September.

McInally did some work with the team before her China expedition. She is confident her side can produce another competitive season, aiming to go one better than last year's runner-up title in the grand final.

"We have formed a nucleus of the team,'' McInally said. "That comes from the experienced players and just adding a few fresh faces to it.''

Her daughter Emilie is a respected co-captain, sharing the role with another 10 plus year representative veteran Liz Hales.

The coach is also pleased Flyers have recruited exciting higher level players Larissa Hughes and Nicole Grant. Both have played with Brisbane Lions.

Being a volunteer of the year winner in previous City of Ipswich Sports Awards, McInally knows what it's like to commit valuable time to a team.

However, she has faith in the combinations Ipswich has provided, resulting in four premiership successes in recent years.

The Flyers open team launch their campaign tomorrow night after Ipswich's under-16 combination started last Friday night.

The under 16s lost 46-30 to Queensland Catholic. They play Brisbane Netball this week.

"We really need the 16s, and they have some very very good players in that 16's team,'' McInally said.

As for her latest holiday, McInally found it beneficial preparing for a new season.

"I was very enlightened,'' she said.

Game day

Tomorrow (6.30pm): SEQ Challenge Open Division 1 - Ipswich Flyers v South East Men's and Mixed Netball Association.

Friday night (8pm): SEQ Challenge Under 16 Division 2 - Ipswich Flyers v Brisbane.

Both games at State Netball Centre.



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