Fire poised for season opener

October 11, 2018 | Townsville Fire news

The JCU Townsville Fire will officially commence their title defence this Sunday.

With more than 260 days passing since they lifted the trophy aloft, the reigning Chemist Warehouse WNBL champions will return to the floor when they host Dandenong at Townsville Stadium from 3pm.

While championship heroes Cayla George (Melbourne), Mia Murray (sabbatical), Kelly Wilson (Canberra) and Sydney Wiese (Israel) have departed, the Fire skipped the WNBL free agents list to target their recruits and struck pay dirt with their 2018/19 signings.

World championship silver medallist Tess Madgen was the Fire’s first blue-chip recruit – the 28-year-old had been coveted by the club for the past five years – before they added former under-19 Australian representative Casey Samuels who had missed the past two seasons pursuing an AFLW career.

New Zealand international Stella Beck was added to the squad in June after enjoying a decorated college career with St Mary’s before WNBA draftee Ally Malott was signed as the final piece of the puzzle.

Entering her 17th and final WNBL season, Fire skipper Suzy Batkovic said the end goal was exactly the same as it was last year.

“We want to win another championship,” Batkovic said.

“We’ve built a fantastic programme here that is used to succeeding and our fans expect us to turn up and get the job done and so do we.

“They’ve been amazing for us during this championship run – the support and energy they give us is huge – so hopefully there is a great turnout on Sunday to see us unveil our latest championship banner and to get us home against the Rangers.”

As part of the opening round, Chemist Warehouse will provide a FREE Fire t-shirt to the first 2000 at Townsville Stadium on Sunday.

Click here to pre-purchase your tickets to the Fire and the Rangers.