Cricket Australia Items/Blogs/jodie-fields/2011/10/17/off-the-sideline

Jodie Fields

Off the sideline

17 October 2011

So here we are again approaching the start of the Women’s National Cricket League season.

So here we are again approaching the start of the Women’s National Cricket League season.

I can’t speak for all the other domestic teams and players but I am firing and ready to go.

I guess when you sit on the sidelines for over a year, your hunger and motivation for getting out on the field increases with every day that passes by.

This time of year is all about pre-season fitness and skills training.

Unfortunately, I missed a month and a half of Queensland Fire fitness pre-season, however I have participated in the last couple of months of training and things have certainly been busy and tough on the fitness scene!

Matt Conwell, our trainer in Brisbane, has certainly earned his salary over the last couple of months.

The number of 200m sprints, hill sprints, endurance sessions and leg burning weight sessions we have completed, has certainly awoken the muscles, stomachs and the minds of our players.

Last Tuesday night was D-Day in Queensland, with the end of pre-season fitness testing approaching.

On a freezing October night, our squad completed 20m sprints, vertical jump testing, and the dreaded Yo-Yo endurance test.

It never ceases to amaze me how much fear the Yo-Yo puts into people, including myself!

I must admit after the pre-season that our squad has had, I would have been slightly concerned if our squad results didn’t improve.

But to every player’s credit, we did very well and I was proud of our squad for the positive results that were achieved!

There is nothing like the feeling of goose-bumps when you have achieved a personal best result in your fitness testing, or on-ground performance.

Turning up for a 6am light weights and running session on the Wednesday morning, I think everyone had come off their high, and it was a tough session for everyone.

But that is what training is all about.

You set goals for pre-season, you do the hard fitness training, hope that you succeed with good results, and then re-set your goals for the rest of the season.

A great platform for building team bonding as we head into the next part of the year, game phase.

We had our media launch in Brisbane last week, as all teams do pre-season.

This season our launch was a combined affair with the Queensland Bulls and Brisbane Heat teams.

What exciting times for cricket!

I know the buzz up in Brisbane with the new Brisbane Heat is great and we all can’t wait for the team to play their first game in December.

Everyone is hoping the KFC T20 Big Bash League is a success and I know that all domestic women’s teams are excited about the opportunity to play Twenty 20 double-headers.

As for WNCL games, it should be a competitive season for all seven teams involved.  New South Wales and Victoria will be keen to defend their titles this season, but I know all the other states are keen to play and challenge for the title.

I feel that the competition should be a closely fought one this year.

Rachael Haynes has moved to the NSW Breakers, which has given Emma Inglis a chance to captain her state Victoria.

Jess Cameron and Annie Maloney are two girls who I am sure will also perform strongly for the Spirit.

New South Wales are a side full of talent with the stalwarts Alex Blackwell and Lisa Sthalekar combining with some talented youngsters in Angela Reakes and Alyssa Healy.

South Australia have retained the services of newly retired international player Shelley Nitschke and will look to her and Lauren Ebsary to lead their team.

Tasmania have improved out of sight in the last few years of the competition and with talents like Erin Byrnes and Corinne Hall are sure to impress.

ACT continue to be the dark horses of the competition and always play consistent, competitive cricket against all teams.

Kris Britt and Asha Smith are players to watch and could provide some excitement particularly in the Twenty20 format.

The Fury are under the control of new coach Job Van Bunge and captain Nicole Bolton, who has brought some fresh ideas to the squad and I look forward to our matches at the Gabba with them.

Lastly, my team is full of youngsters and a couple of veterans in Melissa Bulow and Jude Coleman, who have returned after seasons away from the game.

Jess Jonassen and Jemma Barsby certainly improved last year and I know they will be very valuable assets to our side this season.

We need to transfer our results off the park and complete some good performances on the park if we are to challenge for the title this year.

Good luck to all teams in the WNCL, WT20, Bupa Sheffield Shield, RYOBI Cup, and KFC T20 Big Bash League.

It is an exciting time for cricket!

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
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