Romelda Aiken is aiming to lift the Firebirds. Pic Peter Wallis
Romelda Aiken is aiming to lift the Firebirds. Pic Peter Wallis

Aiken urges ‘Birds to be brave and bold

BE brave, be bold.

That was the advice from Firebirds coach Roselee Jencke when she swung superstar goalshooter Romelda Aiken into defence in a shock positional shake-up last Sunday.

And Aiken wants Queensland to embrace the same fearless philosophy when they host the GWS Giants in a must-win Super Netball clash on Sunday.

The Firebirds will welcome back captain Gabi Simpson (groin) who passed a fitness test on Saturday but will be without defender Kim Jenner (broken finger) for the match-up at the Queensland State Netball Centre.

Aiken said the Firebirds squad had to be versatile and be prepared for anything in searching for their first win of the 2019 campaign to climb out of seventh place on the ladder.

"We've got to win. That's the bottom line,'' she said.

"We've got to do whatever it takes to win and if that means we make 50,000 changes, we'll do it.

"We have to be adaptable. We have to be brave and be bold and enjoy the different experiences out there.''

The Lightning's Peace Proscovia and Firebirds' Romelda Aiken fly high for the ball in the “Battle of the Bruce”.
The Lightning's Peace Proscovia and Firebirds' Romelda Aiken fly high for the ball in the “Battle of the Bruce”.

Aiken's foray into the goalkeeper position for the second half of last weekend's "Battle of the Bruce" loss to the Sunshine Coast was not that foreign to the prolific Jamaican sharpshooter.

The key defensive post was the first position she played in netball and where she first debuted for her country.

"I've played a few games there before. I was a defender and my sister was the shooter,'' Aiken said.

"It's where I was picked for Jamaica so it's not that new.

"When Rose (Jencke) said we were going to be brave and be bold and try something different and I was like, 'OK'.''

When asked if she would be returning to the GS bib for the start of Sunday's outing against the Giants, Aiken responded: "I enjoyed the opportunity to play somewhere else but it's (goalshooter) where I've made my name so we'll see what happens.''

Queensland Firebirds star Romelda Aiken. Pic Peter Wallis
Queensland Firebirds star Romelda Aiken. Pic Peter Wallis

Aiken said the crowd at Nathan for the last home game against Collingwood gave the Firebirds a significant lift in the dying stages when they forced a draw and was hoping the "Purple Army" bring their voice again.

"We can't wait to see how loud they are this time around. Against the Magpies it was so loud. It made you stop and think, 'wow, this is our crowd','' she said.

News Corp Australia


VALLEY WRAP: Top stories you must read

VALLEY WRAP: Top stories you must read

Did you miss out on the big news in the Clarence Valley last week?

Tributes flow for 'beautiful, strong girl'

premium_icon Tributes flow for 'beautiful, strong girl'

Tributes flow to 'beautiful, strong girl'

Friendly new face has big plans for grocer

premium_icon Friendly new face has big plans for grocer

Prince St supermarket in new hands