REPLAY: Qld State League Ipswich Force vs SWM Pirates
NOTE: The replay above is of the Ipswich Force v South West Metro Pirates women's match. Scroll down for the men's replay.
EAGER to hit the court after some troublesome calf issues, Amy Lewis has no fears facing her former coach and captain in tonight's Queensland State League showdown.
Ipswich Force co-captain Lewis just wants to play and help her side secure a first victory in the Hibiscus Stadium match being livestreamed on the QT website.
"I'm still really close to Brad (George) and Bree (Farley),'' Lewis said preparing for the third round encounter against South West Metro.
"There's no hard feelings there at all and we are in contact quite regularly.''
Lewis worked with George at Force in last year's Queensland Basketball League before the long-time former coach switched to South West Metro for the QSL.
Having also served Ipswich well for a number of seasons, Farley followed.
Ipswich Force v South West Metro Pirates men's replay
Another former Ipswich player Courtney Taylor is also lining up with South West Metro.
However, Lewis is only focused on victory after earlier losses to the Brisbane Capitals and Sunshine Coast Phoenix.
"Once you cross the line and especially in the situation that we are in right now, we desperately need a win and we need to win big to build our confidence,'' she said.
"So we'll be going out there really trying to set the tone early and kind of make our mark on the league.
"Brad is working with a brand new team and he's got a lot of juniors in that team as well.
"They will be in a fairly similar situation to us.''
Lewis has been appointed co-captain with Georgia Ralph for this season's restructured QSL Division 1 competition.
"We're really close friends now as well so working with her has been really easy,'' Lewis said.
The former national league basketballer struggled with calf soreness in Ipswich's first game against the Capitals before a long-time injury prevented her from playing last Sunday at Maroochydore.
Lewis was confident of lining up tonight.
"I'm good. I'll be fit this weekend,'' Lewis said.
"I trained a full session last night and I pulled up really well, which is really promising.''
Lewis has been managing recurring calf issues for a number of years.
"It's just been one of those injuries that I've had to deal with a fair bit in my career,'' she said. "When it goes, I know the protocol. I know how long it takes just to get it back.
"I have been pretty strict on my rehab this week and feeling good.''
She said after pulling up really sore in the Capitals clash, she needed a fortnight break to avoid risking further damage.
As for the young Force players she is guiding, Lewis was keen to see them benefit from this year's QSL.
"It is only early days and we are still coming together as a team as well,'' she said.
"We just need everyone to step up and share that load because we are a fairly small team.''
Meanwhile, Force head coach Chris Riches was waiting to hear if Brisbane Bullets star Nathan Sobey was available to line up in a third successive match for Ipswich tonight.
Sobey's availability was subject to his Bullets pre-season commitments preparing for the 2021 NBL season.
Riches expected his regular squad to be available except Mitch Poulain as Ipswich chases a second win in three matches, following their last-shot victory over the Brisbane Capitals in round one.
Poulain has a muscle strain in his leg.
Riches gave his players Monday night off training to recover from last Sunday night's loss to the Sunshine Coast Phoenix.
With South West Metro having made major changes since last year's QBL, Riches was keen for his Ipswich-bred players to step up and capitalise on that.
Both tonight's matches between Ipswich Force and South Metro will be livestreamed on this QT website. The first game has been changed to start at 6.30pm.
QSL Division 1 women: Saturday (6.30pm) - Ipswich Force v South West Metro at Hibiscus Stadium.
QSL Division 1 men: Saturday (8.30pm) - Ipswich Force v South West Metro at Hibiscus Stadium.
Both matches being livestreamed at qt.com.au