Marlins expect breakthrough 2013
THE Marlins, of the netball variety that is, have their eye on March 9.
That will be the day they travel to Townsville to open their Queensland State League campaign and set the trend for their season.
And their intentions are clear.
Change their culture, rid themselves of the easybeat tag, raise their profile – and, one more thing, says new coach Winnie Whately.
"We are here to win, 100 per cent," she said.
"We want to go to Townsville and send a bit of a message in that first performance.
"When I stepped into the role, the first thing I asked was whether we were a development team for young talent, or a team serious about doing well. The answer is certainly the latter one."
The Innisfail product grew up playing the sport in the Far North and wants to put the region’s representative team back in the spotlight.
While their first game is still 80 days away, the team has already been training three times a week for two months.
This time last season they had not even selected a squad.
"We needed to change the culture, because it’s no secret we have been way out of the Brisbane team’s league and the only way to change that is a lot of hard work," she said.
The side struggles to lure in sponsors and is an unknown on the Far North sports scene.
Whately knows the only way that will change is by winning.
To motivate the team, squad member Lisa Drysdale invited Adelaide Thunderbirds assistant coach and national league commentator Dan Ryan to help out.
Ryan, who is also co-captain of the national men’s team, ran the team’s training on Sunday.
"They don’t want to be the easybeats and I was hopefully able to give them an expectation of what it takes to create a winning culture," he said.
"I like their attitude; the fact they’ve got that mindset is good. But now they’ve got to translate that to the court."
He agreed the only way to boost their profile was to be successful, like the Thunderbirds had started to do in Adelaide.
"Adelaide embraces them now, they get as much attention as the (AFL team) Adelaide Crows," he said.
"And these girls in Cairns have obviously got talent. They look strong in defence and have good talent in the shooting circle."
Whately said the addition of new faces to the initial squad would help.
The coach said under-19 Northern Territory recruit Jackie Dupuy, who played her club netball in Bendigo last season, would add depth in several positions.
"She’s a bit of an allrounder and should definitely lift the level," she said.
The Marlins plan on holding an invitational tournament on February 10 to launch their season.
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Clear intentions Adelaide Thunderbirds assistant coach Dan Ryan visited Cairns to put the Marlin Coast through a clinic.