New leadership team for Queensland Firebirds
NETBALL: Gabi Simpson and Caitlyn Nevins have succeeded Southern Downs pair Laura Geitz and Clare McMeniman in leadership roles at the Lorna Jane Queensland Firebirds .
While Geitz is having time out due to her pregnancy and could return to the captaincy next season, McMeniman retired from all national and international netball at the end of the 2016 season.
Simpson is captain and Nevins vice captain for the Firebirds for the 2017 Suncorp Super Netball season.
The 2017 season will herald the start of the new Australian competition with additional teams which replaces the Trans Tasman Series which was played by teams from Australia and New Zealand.
The pair were elected by their teammates at a confidential team vote after Christmas.
Simpson said she was honoured to be chosen by her peers and could not wait to help her team reach their potential on and off the court.
"I bring a lot of passion - passion for the game, passion for the girls and passion for the Firebirds. To have the opportunity to lead such a fantastic club is something I will treasure," Simpson said.
"When I came to this club as a 20-year-old the culture was extremely nurturing and got the best out of me on and off the court. As the leader I can help drive the senior players to empower the next generation. The likes of Kim Jenner and Jemma Mi Mi are such phenomenal young athletes and I'm really excited to help them reach their potential.
"We have a team that is absolutely determined to achieve the goal of winning the Super Netball league. Our attacking end is coming along very nicely and our defence has some new faces but is growing quickly. We are so fortunate to get to play against the best attacking end in world netball every single day and that'll put us in great stead for the season."
Nevins' election to the vice-captaincy marks a remarkable rise for the 28-year-old, who has established herself as one of Australian netball's premier attackers since moving to Queensland from Melbourne Vixens in 2015.
"I'm excited, humbled and really proud to lead this team with Gabi," Nevins said.