ANL title just reward for Fury’s playing group

_MCA3776LiVictorian Fury coach Kristy Keppich-Birrel says the team’s 2015 Australian Netball League title is a reward for her players’ work ethic, writes CLAIRE MACUZ.

Fury claimed their third consecutive ANL title after beating Southern Force 58-46 in the Grand Final at Waverley Netball Centre.

The 12-goal victory was Fury’s 32nd consecutive win in the ANL competition and Keppich-Birrel said each title is special.

“Our group of girls are strong believers in development and improving each time we step on the court. Each match provides us with something to improve on, and we aim to do that each week,” Keppich-Birrel said.

“I think the intensity that the group showed (in the Grand Final) proved that they are a team that can comeback from a lapse in concentration or can simply raise the bar above what the opposition is reaching.”_MCA3619Li

Fury’s goal every season is to win the title and Keppich-Birrel said the achieved their desired outcome with class.

Fury withstood a third quarter fightback by Force, who slashed a nine-goal half-time lead to just one. But with promising 18-year-old shooter Emma Ryde on song, Fury were able to steady and pull away to claim their sixth ANL title.

“Our aim was to use our strengths and even though we lost our way a little in the third quarter, the message was to get back to using Emma because she is our quickest way to score,” Keppich-Birrel said.

“It was a little bit concerning that the Force’s pressure on Emma and Alice (Teague-Neeld) was affecting our game plan as much as it was, but to the girls’ credit they steadied and fought back in the last.”

Keppich-Birrel knows that Fury will again be the hunted by other teams in 2016, but they just focus on developing players with a long-term view towards lining up in the ANZ Championship.

“Having a group of ANZ Championship players in the squad doesn’t change the dynamic of the team, it really helps both the younger players learn from the older girls, and even the older ones to learn from the young girls,” she said.

“It’s important to use the strong relationships that this group has to our advantage, and the same group that is on court is exactly the same off the court – strong and encouraging.”