Rosman eager to deny home state shot at ANL title

BurtonPhotography-9770Stacey Rosman may be a born and bred Queenslander but she’s eager to upset her home state’s quest for an historic Australian Netball League title this weekend.

Rosman will be aiming to lead her side the Western Sting into a Grand Final appearance when they meet the QLD Fusion in one Semi-Final on Saturday night at Melbourne’s Waverley Netball Centre.

While she’s been based in Perth for more than a decade, Rosman will see some familiar faces when she looks to the Fusion bench; faces that had an impact on her netball career, including rival coach Kylee Byrne.

“I played in state teams alongside Kylie and she also coached me as a junior and (Fusion team manager) Karen Brown is one of my really close friends,” Rosman said.

“So it’s really quite competitive but a lot of fun at the same time.

“I’ve been over here in the west for 12 years now. I made the move as a player and now I’ve taken that step into coaching and I’m loving every minute of it.

“It’s a great bunch of girls to coach and Netball WA has been fantastic with what they’re setting up going forward.”

Rosman, who is in her second year in charge of the Sting and will take over as coach of ANZ Championship side West Coast Fever in 2015, has never coached a winning team against Byrne and would love for her first victory to be this weekend.

Rosman believes her team will be better prepared to face the Fusion than their previous meeting this year, when QLD won 63-50 in Week 4 in Brisbane. That was the Sting’s last defeat and they head into the Semi-Final on a five-game winning streak, equaling the team’s best in the ANL.

BurtonPhotography-9848She said the Sting’s hard-fought two-goal win over the Southern Force in Darwin last round – that effectively sealed their top four spot – was good preparation for this weekend’s finals.

“There was a lot riding on that game and what was pleasing was that the girls understood that and there was a fair bit of pressure on them to win,” Rosman said of the victory against the Force.

“To have that type of pressure going in the game and then being able to win a close one was really pleasing. We did have that loss to Queensland a while ago, but since that game we’ve really turned a corner.

“It was a turning point for us that’s why we’re really looking forward to seeing how much we’ve actually improved.

“Players like Ash Brazill and Kate Beveridge haven’t played a lot of netball throughout the year – the same with Courtney Bruce and Kaylia Stanton. The more they’ve played together now, and with our young ones coming through, we’re just growing and growing as a team.” 

Like the Sting, the Fusion’s line-up is laden with quality ANZ Championship players and some exciting young talent. Rosman believes the winner will be the side that sticks closely to their game plan for the 60 minutes.

BurtonPhotography-9495“We think if we play to our strengths then they’ll have to beat us,” Rosman declared.

“They’ve certainly got some good players in Stephanie Wood and Demelza Fellowes and a group of players that have played together for some time. So they’ve got some great unity happening and the way their combinations function.

“At the end of the day it’s going to be who’s going to come together the best and execute those simple skills under pressure (that will win).”

The winner of the Sting-Fusion clash will face the winner of the other semi-final between the Victorian Fury and Netball NSW Wales for the 2014 trophy.

The Fury and Waratahs clashed for last year’s title in Adelaide. The Fury head into the Finals on a 21-game winning streak, but the Waratahs will take a lot of heart from their game against the Victorian side last round when they lost by two goals in double extra time.

“Fury will be aware that teams are improving and really hunting them down and we’ll certainly be looking at what Waratahs are doing because, come finals time, anything can happen,” Rosman said.

“First and foremost it’s looking at what we need to do against Queensland.”

The Fury-Waratahs semi-final starts at 5pm with the Sting-Fusion match to follow at 7pm. The Grand Final will be played on Sunday afternoon from noon.

Click here to read our preview of Saturday’s ANL Semi Finals.

Follow Netball Australia’s website and Twitter @NetballAust over the weekend for updates on all the Finals action.