Jets netballers train for the start of the Sapphire and Ruby Series this weekend. Picture: Ipswich Jets Media
Jets netballers train for the start of the Sapphire and Ruby Series this weekend. Picture: Ipswich Jets Media

From footy field to court return, Jets netballers fire up

AFTER an unexpected session on an Ipswich footy field, the Jets netballers are ready to finally launch their 2020 Sapphire and Ruby Series campaigns.

The regular season start was delayed until Sunday due to ongoing COVID-19 challenges.

However, the well-drilled Jets representative teams have spent recent weeks preparing for Sunday's opening games against the Bull Sharks at the Queensland State Netball Centre.

That preparation included some running and conditioning work at the Ipswich Jets fields when the regular training courts were unavailable due to COVID restrictions.

"We had a little run around the football field . . . without a netball,'' Jets Sapphire Series team captain Stephanie O'Brien said.

"It was a real change, a little bit different but a bit of fun.''

The Jets netballers finished with a dinner at the Jets Leagues Club, showing their support for a major backer.

KEEN TO GO: Teacher focused on representative season return

Jets Sapphire Series captain Stephanie O'Brien
Jets Sapphire Series captain Stephanie O'Brien

Both Jets teams made the Netball Queensland finals in their inaugural seasons last year with the Rubies reaching the grand final.

O'Brien said both Jets teams were settled heading into the season despite the coronavirus issues.

"It has been kind of a long pre-season but we've both had eight weeks to do that,'' O'Brien said. "It's been quite good.''

O'Brien said a good practice game against the Wildcats also helped her side get back into competition mode.

"We have got a team of great girls. We will be ready to go on Sunday,'' she said. "I'm excited.''

O'Brien has been appointed to captain for the new season. The Bremer State High PE teacher will be assisted by vice-captain Brooke Hams who also performed the role last year.

TEAM UNITY: Jets Rubies bond together to reach grand final

BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS: USQ provide valuable support for Jets

The 2020 Jets Sapphire and Ruby Series squads and support staff preparing for Sunday’s opening games. Picture: Ipswich Jets Media
The 2020 Jets Sapphire and Ruby Series squads and support staff preparing for Sunday’s opening games. Picture: Ipswich Jets Media

The Sapphire team was hoping to feature highly regarded recruit Tippah Dwan in early Jets matches this season until she was named in the Queensland Firebirds extended squad for the first three national league matches.

"We won't probably have her maybe until their season finishes,'' O'Brien said.

Jets regular Bridey Condron was also chosen as an injury replacement for the West Coast Fever national league side. She made her debut, providing another boost for the Jets squads.

This year's Sapphire and Ruby Series will be shorter due to the later competition start.

USQ Jets athletes and coaches have also been involved with running representative programs for the Ipswich and Western Districts netball associations.

A Future Jets Program was also completed recently, providing more exciting opportunities as the major representative series fire up.

GAME DAY (Sunday)

Sapphire Series: 5pm - Jets v Bull Sharks

Ruby South Series: 7pm - Jets v Bull Sharks

Both games on Nissan Arena at the Queensland State Hockey Centre



Family remembers beloved Lockyer pilot in touching tribute

Premium Content Family remembers beloved Lockyer pilot in touching tribute

Family shares stories of pilot who loved flying

Here is this week’s Friday Top Five, with editor Andrew Korner

Premium Content Here is this week’s Friday Top Five, with editor Andrew...

Ipswich was this week linked to the shocking death on a man in a Brisbane park

Ride operator’s plan to keep it clean amid COVID fears

Premium Content Ride operator’s plan to keep it clean amid COVID fears

An amusement company that has lost more than 60 events this year is planning a late...