The Coffee Club Queensland Firebirds’ Romelda Aiken is on target to reach a big milestone in Sunday's blockbuster Grand Final.
Aiken is on track to become the only player in ANZ Championship history to record 5000 career goals, with just five goals required in Sunday’s Grand Final. She attributes the milestone to her current and former teammates.
“It’s a credit to the girls that I’ve played with over the years. I’ve had this great opportunity, not just to play netball, but to play it with some incredible women,” she said.
“These 5000 goals are shared amongst all the girls that I’ve played with.”
The partnership between Aiken and Gretel Tippett has flourished over the past two years, the connection between the two growing with each game.
The towering Jamaican import was full of praise for her shooting partner.
“Gretel is so exciting to watch, to be able to play with her gives us this massive confidence that we can rely on her to take those winning shots, as well as settling down and making clever plays,” Aiken said.
“She will have a great game on Sunday, I can’t wait to get out there with the whole team.”
Aiken, a Firebirds foundation player, still gets just as excited about putting on her purple dress in big games.
“I get so excited every time I get out there and play and wear that purple uniform. We use it as a shield, in our dresses we are protected out there. We’ve got each other’s backs.”
More than 10,000 fans will pack into the Brisbane Entertainment Centre to watch a replay of last year’s Grand Final. According to Aiken, the Firebirds will soak up the atmosphere.
“For us, we’ll be enjoying the atmosphere. It’s going to be really loud, we’re not going to be able to hear each other out there on court. We’re trying to embrace the moment and enjoy it as we go,” Aiken said.
“To stay composed is going to be really important. We’ve never had so many people attend a netball game in Queensland, it’s going to be great.”
The Firebirds will host the Swifts in the 2016 ANZ Championship Grand Final at Brisbane Entertainment Centre on Sunday July 31. The game will be broadcast live on Channel 10 (ONE in WA), Fox Sports Australia 3, Sky Sport NZ 1 and the Netball Live App.