Erin Burger playing for South Africa.
Erin Burger playing for South Africa. Anthony Au-Yeung

Firebirds hoping new signing can inspire first win

NETBALL: New signing Erin Burger will be in line for her Super Netball debut when the Queensland Firebirds take on the West Coast Fever tonight.

The South African international linked up with her new squadmates yesterday before the Firebirds look to get their season off the mark against a winless Fever side at Perth Arena.

The Firebirds have so far drawn with the Sunshine Coast Lightning and been beaten by Collingwood.

Firebirds coach Roselee Jencke said the inclusion of the 2011 Netball World Championship MVP would give her side more balance and options.

"It's exciting to have Erin. She has an immense amount of experience at international level, which is a huge bonus for us," she said.

"She understands the pressure of what it's like to compete at the top level, is composed under pressure and is a very smart player. She reads the play as it flows, her defensive game is an asset and she's a really good feeder.

"She will allow Caitlyn (Nevins) to go back into her preferred wing attack position and give us that balance on the line.

"Jemma Mi Mi gaining experience in the opening two rounds is a big positive for us too because it gives us options."

The Firebirds showed flashes of brilliance against the Lightning and Magpies, but lapses in concentration proved costly.

Jencke said the Firebirds were traditionally slow starters at the dawn of a new season, but she was happy with the direction they were heading.

"I was heartened our side found the same level of guts and determination against Collingwood as they did when they fought back against Lightning, but we don't want to make that a habit," she said.

"What's encouraging are some of the individual performances. Jemma Mi Mi did some great attacking and defensive work last week, Kate Shimmin had some great deflections and rejections of the shot.

"We know we've got some improvements to make with our cohesion in the attack end and our flow. If we can fix that up, we'll put more pressure on the opposition. It's about concentrating on what we need to do in our own game.

"Fever always give us a really good contest. History says it's a battle and they are strongly led by Nat Medhurst. They showed against the Thunderbirds that they can be exceptionally dangerous. We'll be prepared for a tough game."

News Corp Australia

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