Talented Ipswich netballer Nicole Cude.
Talented Ipswich netballer Nicole Cude.

Netball stalwart tough opponent

MODEST January senior sport star Nicole Cude is one of those people happy to play under the radar when it comes to self-promotion.

However, there’s no denying her vast achievements in netball.

Cude, 27, is preparing for another huge season representing Brisbane West Lions in the Holden Cruze Cup – the state’s premier netball competition.

The elite series starts on March 4 and is played mainly on Friday nights until July.

The Brassall-based wing/attack is also training hard to represent the Queensland mixed netball team at the national titles in Sydney. That week-long tournament is in late April, giving Cude plenty of top-level competition to get excited about.

“I’m one of the more senior players,” she said. “I want to enjoy it but I like to be quite fit and hopefully both teams can do quite well and make finals.”

Cude said the mixed competition offered extra experience.

“It’s very challenging playing with the men. They have got such great agility and they are very strong,” she said. “You’ve got to be very tough and I really enjoy it. It’s something different.”

The Ipswich City Council employee is ready to step up again after having her appendix removed recently.

“I had a pretty tough pre-season,” she said.

“Hopefully I’ll get back to my fitness levels where I need to be by the next two weeks.”

Having grown up at Redbank Plains, Cude has played netball for 21 years.

She has represented the Goodna Netball Association for 11 years at representative and State League levels. That includes stints with Met West, State League, Presidents Cup and the Dairy Farmers Cup competitions.

Cude is the senior January winner in the 2010/2011 Queensland Times City of Ipswich Sports Awards, backed by the Ipswich City Council.

Meanwhile, junior monthly winner – Chuwar fast bowler Ryan Tazelaar – is thrilled with his recent progress.

Ryan, 17, was chosen in the Queensland Schoolboys under-19 side after impressing at regional and state level.

The right-arm quick played well for Met West and at the state titles in Townsville where the Queensland team was chosen.

The former Laidley club player later made his first grade debut for Wests in the Brisbane competition.

He was also chosen to participate in Queensland Cricket’s High Performance Pace Bowling Program at Albion, working with top coaches.

“It’s been a good year,” said Ryan, who is studying Urban Development at QUT.

“I’ve been training pretty hard.”

Last year, the Ipswich Grammar School student also won the Pierre de Coubertin Award for his sporting achievements in cricket and athletics.

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