Emerging talents Charlie Bell, Leesa Mi Mi and Ash Ervin as well as 2016 championship winner Hulita Veve have been named as training partners with the Queensland Firebirds for the 2023 Suncorp Super Netball season.
The quartet were all members of the Queensland Sapphires team which claimed bronze at the Australian Netball Championships (ANC) in Victoria recently.
Bell and Mi Mi were also part of Australian Under-21 squad’s camp in Canberra from September 8 to 11.
Veve, Bell and Ervin return as training partners having held the role in the 2022 Suncorp Super Netball season.
A grand final winner with the Firebirds in 2016 and mum of two, Veve is also set to lead Tonga at next year’s World Cup after the 26-year-old helped the Pacific Island nation qualify for the tournament for the first time in July.
It is Mi Mi’s first season as a training partner with the Firebirds, with the younger sister of former Firebird Jemma Mi Mi moving a step closer to taking the court in Suncorp Super Netball.
“I’m delighted to add Charlie, Hulita, Leesa and Ash to our squad for the 2023 Suncorp Super Netball season as training partners,” Firebirds head coach Bec Bulley said.
“Charlie and Ash are talented young players who were training partners last season and come into the squad in a position to continue their path towards making their Firebirds’ debuts.
“Leesa meanwhile will be getting her first taste as a Firebirds’ training partner and is a terrific prospect who had an outstanding ANC and recently took part in an Australian Under-21 camp in Canberra.
“I also couldn’t be happier to have the Firebirds 2016 grand final-winning experience of Hulita in our squad, giving us extra leadership and defensive tenacity which can only benefit the whole team in 2023.
“Our squad has grown but is not yet finalised and I’m looking forward to having discussions with other players in coming weeks with an intention of adding more training partners to our team.”
Bell, a 197cm goal shooter, and Mi Mi, both helped the ACU Brisbane North Cougars to grand final glory in the HART Sapphire Series in July played key roles in the Sapphires’ ANC campaign .
Bell was ranked second in scoring for at the ANC with 207 goals at 92 per cent accuracy while Mi Mi was the leader in goal assists (147), circle feeds (200) and third-best in centre pass receives (122).
Defender Ervin also had a stellar championships, with the most deflections (33), second-most gains (35) and third-most intercepts (15).