Marney's lucky routine helps her shoot higher

DETERMINED DEFENCE: Ipswich Force guard Marney George blocks a Bundaberg player during a state league game this season.
DETERMINED DEFENCE: Ipswich Force guard Marney George blocks a Bundaberg player during a state league game this season. Sarah Harvey

LONG-serving Ipswich state league basketballer Marney George is always the last out of the change room before a game.

"I tend to put a bit of pressure on myself," she said.

"I've always been like that. I know how I want to play.

"I get the same feelings every game - always excitement, anticipation and that little hint of nervousness.

"I think it's good to have a bit of nerves otherwise you get too laidback and not ready."

In her 11th season of state competition, she follows the same routine on match day - including wearing the same undies and socks when she's playing well.

That superstition started in under-16s when she had "lucky team undies" playing for former coach Terry Lindeberg.

The dedicated Lindeberg is Force women's assistant coach this season.

"We couldn't find any of his size so we went and bought white undies and dyed them orange," George said.

"We ended up making the finals and we weren't expected to."

Ten years later, Marney is still a vital member of the Ipswich team with one major change.

She's married to Ipswich's current coach Brad.

"When we are at basketball, he's the coach, I'm the player," the experienced guard said.

"We keep it professional."

Luckily for the husband and wife, they are in a supportive team that get along exceptionally well.

"We're a pretty close bunch of girls," Marney, 26, said.

"Most of us have been playing together for quite some time."

That team unity will be called upon tonight at Ipswich stadium.

Fourth-placed Force have beaten seventh-placed Northside twice this season. Force have 10 wins from their 16 qualifying games with Northside having eight victories.

"We just have to go with that belief really behind us and that confidence," Marney said.

"When we've gone in like that, we've come out with the result we wanted."

The senior Force player has been impressed with younger recruits like power forward Peta Eddington.

"Peta has been great for us this year," Marney said. "She might not be tall but she plays above her position. She's so strong."

But while she puts pressure on herself, the Ipswich born and bred sportswoman is a proven achiever.

She's done an exceptional job as regional services manager for basketball.

The 165cm player nicknamed "Marnz" hopes to continue that line of work when her contract expires next June.

She has two subjects to complete studying Bachelor of Commerce-Sport Management.

"I don't like to do anything half," she said. "I do it as best I can."

The former Australian Schoolgirls representative also enjoys coaching juniors.

"If I set my mind to it, I'm going to see it all the way through," she said.

That will also be the motto of the Force tonight as they challenge to make the state league semi-final in Mackay next weekend.

Game day

  • Tonight: QBL quarter-final (6pm) - Ipswich Force v Northside Wizards at Ipswich stadium, Booval.

Fans wearing a Pride supporters t-shirt get in for free.

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