Two divisions would make SEQ Cup stronger: Flyers coach
NETBALL: Happy with the positive vibe in her team, Ipswich Flyers coach Trish McInally expects a strong finish to this year's South East Queensland Cup season.
The fifth-placed Flyers are still well in contention having only lost one match, by just eight points, to competition leaders Goodna Sapphires.
However, with the top six teams regularly winning by big margins, McInally would like Netball Queensland to consider splitting future SEQld Cup competitions into two divisions.
"It was actually a better comp last year. All the games were very tight,'' the experienced coach said.
"We never had any runaway games like we've had this year.
"Maybe they should have split it into two competitions.''
She said having something like SEQ Division 1 and SEQ Division 2 is worth investigating.
"There are clearly better teams and not so good teams,'' she said. "It would have been a better competition for us if we had maybe four or five teams in our divisions and played them all twice.''
Under the current 13 team round robin format, each side only plays each other once.
McInally said a split competition would be more beneficial than winning by 30 or 40 goals on a regular basis.
That was highlighted in last week's fifth round where the Flyers and Sapphires both thrashed their opponents.
The Flyers beat Redcliffe 59-22 on the same night the Sapphires outclassed QCNA Opens 1 by 40 points.
Having a bye tonight, defending champions Goodna have claimed top spot again with five wins and a healthy 168.13 percentage.
Only third placed Caboolture, last year's runners-up, have a better percentage (202.94) than the Sapphires.
The Flyers have a 164.20 percentage, well ahead of the eight teams below them.
Preparing for tonight's match against QCNA Opens 2, McInally has been encouraged by Flyers' progress, especially having some fresh additions this season.
"They are gelling quite well at the moment,'' she said.
"Still, it's baby steps. We just need to do what we do best and that's taking the fundamentals of netball. Nothing too fancy.
"It's been really exciting with the new players. I'm enjoying it.''
Among Flyers' newcomers this year are wing defence Skye Sippel and goal shooter Masilina "Mas'' Kurukitoga. Defender Rachel Sarra is in her second year of representative netball.
However, the team lost junior Meg Callaghan at the start of the competition to what looks like a season-ending sciatica problem.
Former player Kerri Richardson has returned to help out as Callaghan deals with her injury. She has been playing goal defence or goal keeper.
With Goodna setting the standard, McInally said the Flyers had plenty to keep them motivated.
"We do have a long way to go and we have a lot of work to do,'' she said.
"But everything is positive.
"There's a really good vibe within the team and I think we'll do well.''
McInally is also encouraged by how the Flyers continue to develop their netball nursery.
The Ipswich senior players, led by captain Emilie McInally, joined forces at another successful NetSetGo clinic last weekend.
"It was wonderful. We had good feedback,'' she said.
State of play
QPL SEQ Cup: Round 6 - Tonight (6.30pm): Ipswich Flyers v QCNA Opens 2; Goodna Sapphires bye.
Rd 5 results: Goodna def QCNA Opens 1 62-22, Ipswich def Redcliffe 59-22.