First crop of 2022 training partners announced

FOUR Suncorp Super Netball clubs have now announced their 2022 training partner selections, with GIANTS Netball and Sunshine Coast Lightning joining the Queensland Firebirds and Collingwood Magpies, who confirmed their nominations late last week. With plenty of exciting talent at hand, we run through the first crop of SSN training partners in the leadup to the 2022 SSN season.


The GIANTS welcome back three 2021 training partners and have added a whopping five more to their talent pool, as the club looks to continue building an extended squad rich with homegrown NSW talent. After once again dipping into their talent pool to build  their 2022 contracted players, the GIANTS training partners have been shown exactly what to do to reach their potential with the club.

  • Ang Frketic – Goaler and returnee to the GIANTS program, continuing to progress with her accuracy and consistency to post and pushing for an opportunity at SSN level.
  • Jemma Donoghue – Developing defender returning for a second season, boasts great elevation and shadowing one-on-one.
  • Clare Iongi – A defensive prospect with athleticism and versatility for days to go with great pedigree. Has been with the GIANTS for two seasons, so knows what is expected of her.
  • Eliza Burton – A small attacking midcourter, known for her fitness and speed. Able to impact around the circle with ease and looking to state her case for further elevation.
  • Charli Fidler – Emerging mid-height defender, 187cm with plenty of tenacity and versatility. A fast improver with smooth movement.
  • Erin O’Brien – A 189cm versatile defender with great reach and potential. Still only 18-years-old with a high ceiling for improvement.
  • Millie Roach – A tall goaler with great movement and a strong hold, Roach can impact from range with ease.
  • Nat Sligar – A hard working goal attack/wing attack, joins twin sister Amy Sligar in the GIANTS program. Versatile type who can offer plenty to the extended group and main group alike.

GIANTS head coach Julie Fitzgerald says:

“As a club we hold a real emphasis on backing and developing our local talent and I’m really excited by the talent all these girls bring.

“We want to be able to introduce them into the elite environment at a younger age and foster their potential and talent to develop them into not only GIANTS players but Australian Diamonds.

“A lot of these girls are in pivotal stages of their netball development and national identification and unfortunately have hardly played any netball the past two seasons.

“Depth within our extended squad is beneficial to the whole of the program, not only for development of the younger and aspiring athletes but for the preparedness and competitive nature of the entire group.

“We look forward to welcoming them all into the group over the coming months.”


The Firebirds have developed some excellent prospects over the past few years, with a couple of fresh faces entering the ring for 2022 off the back of training partner elevations to the Firebirds squad. While two familiar faces return, two newcomers will look to surpass expectations and showcase what they are made of with their first dip into the elite pathways program.

  • Macy Gardner – Returning midcourter, daughter of former Firebirds coach Roselee Jencke. Has smarts, speed and footwork to back up her pedigree.
  • Hulita Veve – Crafty midcourter primarily playing wing defence and centre. Brings experience and holding strength to the group.
  • Charlie Bell – Emerging 197cm goal shooter with excellent mobility for her height and great accuracy under the post.
  • Ashleigh Ervin – Defensive prospect with great elevation and ball-winning capabilities. Will do whatever it takes to find the turnover ball.

Firebirds head coach Megan Anderson said:

“It is so exciting to watch the talent coming through the Netball Queensland pathway and be able to offer them an opportunity to continue to progress their game.

“We’re now able to bring in two more of our exciting young Queensland athletes and give them an opportunity to experience the High Performance environment. I can’t wait to see them flourish and take on the challenge.

“It’s important for the culture and legacy of the club and it’s our responsibility as coaches in Queensland to make sure we provide these athletes with everything they need to succeed.

“Our goal is to enable our players to reach their potential whether that’s here at the Firebirds or somewhere else. We want to empower and equip the players to be the best version of themselves and provide a pathway to SSN and ultimately Diamonds.”


The Lightning has announced its first three training partner selections for next season, with all three returning prospects from the 2020/21 seasons and a couple looking to press their case after losing SSN contracts following ongoing injuries. Further announcements will be made later in the week about newcomers to the training partner program.

  • Ash Unie – Returns after being delisted due to ongoing injury. Developing goal defence/wing defence with a taste of SSN already and exciting traits.
  • Annabelle Lawrie – Versatile goaler who is confident from range. Returns for third season as a training partner and hoping for another opportunity to prove her case.
  • Maddie Hinchliffe – Midcourter and twin sister of incoming Lightning defender, Tara Hinchliffe. Offers speed and tenacity through the centre and wing defence positions. 

Lightning head coach Kylee Byrne said:

“Ash is such a credit to our team at Lightning and I’m really pleased that we can continue to contribute to her netball development next season.

“The absolute determination shown by her this year has been nothing short of inspirational and I can’t wait to see what she can achieve moving forward.

“We will continue to work closely with Ash on the final stages of her injury rehabilitation before reintegrating back into the full Lightning program.

“While injury prevented Maddie from getting major court time in 2021, I was thrilled to see her debut in Lightning colours during the season and she stood up as a leader in the Club’s regional ANC tour in September.

“I am confident that an uninterrupted season will enable her to focus on her development and conditioning to best prepare her for the demands of playing through the midcourt in the Super Netball competition.

“We’ve already seen a number of gains in Annie’s game and that will only continue with increased coaching, guidance and maturity. She’s such a bright personality around the Club and I can’t wait to see the improvement in her netball and strategic knowledge in the next 12 months.”


Collingwood has announced its first two training partners for the upcoming season, continuing to invest in one talented youngster for a third season, and snatching up her equally talented sister who plies her trade at the other end. Another club that has heavily invested in homegrown talent over the past few seasons, expect a few Victorian players to join the pathways mix alongside the two South Australian products.

  • Nyah Allen – A crafty goal attack who has showcased what she is capable of in stints at SSN. Exciting long-range goaling prospect with gamebreaking potential.
  • Sienna Allen – A circle defender with great read of the play and dynamic movement. Looking to press her case after an injury interrupted 2020/21.

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