PROMISING LINE-UP: The Ipswich Force women opening their 2013 Queensland Basketball League campaign at the Gold Coast tonight. The players are Courtney Taylor (no 4), Natasha Hasse (no 5), Marney George (no 6), Sherridan Wilson (no 7), Sigourney Thompson (no 8), Peta Eddington (no 9), Stacey Howard (no 10), Emma Langford (no 11), Nadeen Payne (no 12), Rachael Sarra (no 13), Jess Taylor (no 14), Lauren O’Sullivan (no 44), Raihania Ratana (no 55). Meg Essex and Taylah Timperley were absent from the photo. Coach is Brad George, assisted by Dwight Hicks and Terry Lindeberg. Lindy Ralph is manager.
PROMISING LINE-UP: The Ipswich Force women opening their 2013 Queensland Basketball League campaign at the Gold Coast tonight. The players are Courtney Taylor (no 4), Natasha Hasse (no 5), Marney George (no 6), Sherridan Wilson (no 7), Sigourney Thompson (no 8), Peta Eddington (no 9), Stacey Howard (no 10), Emma Langford (no 11), Nadeen Payne (no 12), Rachael Sarra (no 13), Jess Taylor (no 14), Lauren O’Sullivan (no 44), Raihania Ratana (no 55). Meg Essex and Taylah Timperley were absent from the photo. Coach is Brad George, assisted by Dwight Hicks and Terry Lindeberg. Lindy Ralph is manager. CONTRIBUTED

Force women focused for tough season-opener

IPSWICH Force coach Brad George would have preferred to be playing his women's Queensland Basketball League season-opener at home tonight.

However, having two games away to start the new season might help the Force focus early.

"Gold Coast are always tough," George said, preparing for tonight's 6pm clash against the Rollers at Southport.

"They always have a really competitive and aggressive playing nature, which, if you don't match it, can get you caught off guard.

"You never really know how you're going to go the first game of the season.

"We've been training well so hopefully that translates into the weekend."

Force play Northside at South Pine Sports Stadium in their noon game tomorrow.

"We've got a lot of depth. That's the hard part for myself and Dwight (assistant coach Dwight Hicks)," George said.

"We've got a lot of options this year."

While yet to name his starting line-up, George has been impressed with returning players such as small forward Stacey Howard.

"She's really aggressive so she'll bring that to our team," George said.

Howard is back in the Ipswich program after state league stints with Bundaberg following a few years in the American College system with teams such as Colorado and Utah State Aggies.

The Ipswich Force men open their 2013 QBL season against the Gold Coast Rollers at 8pm tonight. They play Northside Wizards tomorrow at 2pm.

As covered in Thursday's QT, the Ipswich Force men have nine new players suiting up.



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