Claws out for team spots

Brooke Mann (back) keeps a close watch on her marker during last year’s Ergon Energy Capricorn Academy at Tannum Sands High School.
Brooke Mann (back) keeps a close watch on her marker during last year’s Ergon Energy Capricorn Academy at Tannum Sands High School. Marcus Thomas

IT IS a weekend where all players will be looking to gain selection, but Capricorn Claws coach Barb Ahmat is keeping them guessing as to the make-up of her squad for the weekend's home matches.

There are no easy games in the State League and Ahmat is aware that neither of this weekend's opponents, Logan Wildcats and Golden South Jaguars, are a certain win for her team despite a good record against the pair.

"In the past we have had good wins against the Jaguars," she said.

"However, this year they could be the ones to look out for."

The players look forward to playing their netball in Rockhampton against quality opposition as it is an opportunity for family and friends to visit CQUniversity and watch the local girls in action.

Ahmat said the players were given Easter weekend off so they could freshen up in preparation for the big games.

"The girls have been training since November and that's why we thought they could have a break over Easter," she said.

However, Easter is finished and it's back to work tonight with Ahmat expecting the players to participate in some match play.

While she is not ready to name the squad for the two games, Ahmat did hint that defender Keanna Hopkins is ready to make a return after illness.

"She looks like she will be taking her place in the team but Danni Wingard will be there as back up," she said.

Also covering a position in the defensive circle is Brooke Mann who has stepped up this year after being a member of the Academy team in 2011.

"Brooke is coming along nicely," Ahmat said.

At the other end of the court, Ahmat had been completely satisfied with the way things were going.

However, when the Claws played in Brisbane shooters Amanda Goody and Kira-Lee Leo failed to produce the kind of shooting statistics that are designed to make a coach happy.

In the lead-up games to the season the stats for both players were up above the 80% mark, which is a sign of their accuracy.

Against the Cougars the pair slumped dramatically to record less than 60% but are expected to return to good form in front of home fans.

Ahmat is also happy with the players she has to fill the positions in mid-court with Carmen Anderson playing better netball than ever.

"Carmen is really standing out this year," she said. "I've coached her for five years and it's the best I've seen her play."

As always, Ahmat is looking forward to the weekend and the opposition the Claws will face.

"They will be fantastic games for spectators," she said.

Topics:  barb ahmat capricorn claws cq university netball

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