In the spotlight: Natalie Medhurst

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Natalie Medhurst, the former Adelaide Thunderbirds' Goal Attack and a current Australian Diamond, with 17 test caps to her name, is quickly becoming one of the most important off season signings for 2010.

Medhurst's shooting statistics can be directly related to the Queensland Firebirds' success. Eight rounds in (seven matches for the Firebirds) and the Firebirds stand at four wins and three losses. However, they are currently on a four game winning streak which included a massive 21 point thrashing of last year's premiers, the Melbourne Vixens.

The Firebirds and Medhurst started the season off slowly with the straight three losses and Medhurst only scoring 18, 23 and 8 goals respectively. She only scored 36% of her team's total. However from Round 4 onwards, Medhurst scored 29, 27, 28 and 27 goals during the Firebirds winning streak and increased her impact on the scoreboard by scoring 44% of her team's total.

Medhurst's long range ability is perfectly matched to (her Firebird's shooting partner) Romelda Aiken's short range game. Medhurst currently has an above average accuracy from all three long range shooting zones. Medhurst shoots 78% from long left compared to 65% for the competition average, 80% from long middle compared to 69% for the competition average and 71% from long right compared to 66% for the competition average. This adds up to a long range shooting percentage of 76% (43 from 56) - equal highest for any shooter that has attempted 20 or more long shots.

In addition to her shooting prowess, Medhurst is also heavily involved around the court, as she currently has 116 centre pass receives (2nd for the Firebirds), 57 goal assists (2nd for the Firebirds), 5 rebounds, 2 intercepts and 4 deflections.

The Queensland Firebirds currently sit fifth on the ANZ Championship ladder but if Medhurst and her Firebirds teammates can carry their great pre-bye form into Round 9, there is no doubt that they will be a serious contender for the 2010 ANZ Championship title.