TOP GAINS: Ipswich Flyers netballer Melissa Beutel has returned fitter and focused on helping her team.
TOP GAINS: Ipswich Flyers netballer Melissa Beutel has returned fitter and focused on helping her team. Kate Czerny

Why Ipswich netball mum glad to be back

NETBALL: Senior Ipswich Flyers player Melissa Beutel was unsure how she would go in this year's Queensland Premier League competition after a year off.

However, with her team on course for another South East Queensland Cup finals series, Beutel is glad she returned.

"I was worried how I would fare but I'm really enjoying playing this year after losing weight and improving my fitness,'' she said.

"It is a busy season with coaching my daughter Layla in her first year of NetSetGo (under 7) and managing my son Steele's (U9) footy team but we all love keeping busy and we are all really well supported by the netball community.''

Preparing for tonight's latest match against Pine Rivers, Beutel is keen to assist the Flyers build on their current third spot while helping the next generation come through.

"Being one of the eldest in the team we really try to mentor and motivate the younger team members,'' she said. "But this year I have been putting a lot of focus into working on my own game and getting the combinations in the circle working.''

She's in her third season with the Flyers after a long break from competitive netball while having children.

Off the court, Beutel is enjoying her role at West Moreton Anglican College where she started as the Sports Office Manager and receptionist in March.

But netball remains important to her.

"The team and the Flyers culture,'' she answered when asked what she enjoys most.

"I love being a part of a team with people that are driven by the same interests.

"I also love the work that Ipswich Netball and the Flyers have put back into the grassroots netball. Quite a few of us coach junior teams or assist at the NetSetGo Program on Saturdays.''

The Aztecs 1 club netballer was encouraged by Ipswich's latest 53-34 win over Metropolitan Districts.

"Late games are always tough, but I think it was our best start of the season,'' she said.

"We put our foot down from the start and got a great lead, the whole team got on the court and everyone played their part in the win.''

The Ipswich Flyers have seven wins and a loss.

Beutel was encouraged how the Flyers are progressing this season. "We have been really pushing through the start of the season, only getting beaten by Goodna, who are a quality team at this point,'' she said.

"The way the draw has worked out we have a hard slog for the remaining games.

"We have been focusing on our whole court defence and getting a good start in the games. Last week's performance proved that training is paying off.

"We have also been focusing on our communication and connection in the defensive end which is coming along nicely.''

Beutel praised two of her consistent teammates.

"Selena Hirsh is having an awesome season. Her strength in the circle and accuracy has really stepped up this season,'' she said.

"Skye (Sippel) running wing defence is awesome too. She picks up heaps of intercepts every week and is becoming more and more controlled in her approach.''

The Flyers play fifth-placed Pine Rivers in another 9.10pm game tonight.

"We really need to start strong so we have a good foundation for whatever the rest of the game throws at us,'' Beutel said.

"It's another late game so we're aiming to step out on court like we did last week and kill it in the first quarter.''

QPL SE Qld Cup Rd 9: Tonight (9.10pm) - Goodna Sapphires v QCNA Opens 2; Ipswich Flyers v PRNA at the State Netball Centre.

Rd 8 results: Goodna def Redcliffe 75-36, Ipswich def MDNA 53-34.



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