Catchy name: Vipers build on Ipswich sporting traditions
WITH so much emerging regional netball talent, Ipswich selectors were eager to enter a second team in this year's Queensland Premier League SEQ Cup competition.
So what better name for a developing side striving to reach new heights than to call it the Ipswich Vipers.
As new team coach Peta Verdasco explained, it was one of the suggestions to keep in line with other proud city teams like the Jets and Flyers.
"It is a Viper Aircraft or ViperJet used in combat fighting,'' Verdasco said.
"Ipswich has a flying theme. The team had other choices but decided on this one.''
The Vipers join the Ipswich Netball Association's premier side, the Flyers, who have enjoyed representative success for more than a decade.
However, Verdasco was confident the time was right to have a second Ipswich combination, which is preparing for its third game of the new season on Thursday night.
"The selectors on the night of trials saw the depth of talent Ipswich has to offer and decided that there was a need for a second team,'' Verdasco said.
"We are hoping that next year we can have the two open teams and a 19 years team now that we have opened up the possibilities for our younger players to progress in the Ipswich representation levels.''
The Vipers coach said it was essential for associations like Ipswich to continue promoting talent.
"Ipswich is one of the biggest associations in Queensland and as such our depth of talent should be reflected by offering representative possibilities with more teams,'' she said.
"We need to ensure that our level of competitiveness is not affected though so an educated selection panel will be required to insert this.
"I believe that having opened up new possibilities for players in the Ipswich area, we will encourage a greater participation during our trialling period for future years' teams.''
Although the Vipers train at the same facility as the Flyers, they work independently.
"We are involved in specialised clinics together and play practice games against each other,'' Verdasco said.
"Our team is very supportive of the Flyers and they have been extremely supportive to our team and assisted us in finding our feet in the open division.
"This is also the case for our younger 17 years team. We are all extremely proud to be representing Ipswich.''
The Vipers team features players aged from 17 to their mid 30s.
All the netballers play in Ipswich's Saturday competition at Limestone Park.
The 2019 Ipswich Vipers team is: Masilina Kurukitoga, Deanne Kertesz, Matina Stoessel, Taylor Hudspith, Simone Robertson (captain), Elise Cullen-Malezer, Sonya Ngau, Brenda Flux, Mikaela Elton (vice-captain) and Chante Cook. Training partners: Hailea Verdasco, Emma Crilly and Breyden Lemusu.
Assisting coach Verdasco is manager Kerry Moore, who is one of Ipswich netball's most experienced officials.
Preparing for Thursday night's game against Western Districts, the Vipers have lost 53-26 to Carina and 56-35 to Caboolture.
Verdasco said team development was the major focus this season so any sponsorship to help the girls with equipment and uniforms was most welcome.
"While suffering two losses, we have gained a massive amount of progress player and positioning wise,'' the coach said.
"I have been working on best suited combinations and believe we have worked out our best possible combinations for different opponents.
"This week's game hopefully will be a big turning point for our team and I am feeling very confident heading into the match.''
State of play
Round 3 SEQ Cup Thursday: 6.30pm - Ipswich Flyers v QUT; Goodna Sapphires v Pine Rivers. 7.50pm: Ipswich Vipers v Western Districts.
Round 2 results: Ipswich Flyers def Pine Rivers 60-39, Goodna Sapphires def Redlands 84-38, Caboolture def Ipswich Vipers 56-35.