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Skippers step up

team captains
Club leaders (left to right): Ava Hoffmann, Xanthe Maxwell, Harriet Nicholson, Ocean Karekare, Hannah Le Sage, Ella Spencer, Abby Boland, Evie Stower and Caitlin Jackson. Image: Cavan Flynn

Bond Bull Sharks Netball has announced its team leaders as a bumper 2024 season looms large. 

An additional Emerging Pathways team will join the fray this year as the club seeks to give more development opportunities to its aspiring athletes. 

The message for all four Bull Sharks teams is simple – be bold. 

Hannah Le Sage will again skipper the Sapphire team. 

Le Sage was a confident and energetic presence on court in 2023, and those same attributes will be called upon to help the Bull Sharks Sapphire side force its way up the competition ladder. 

Ella and Hannah
Sapphire captains:  Vice-Captain Ella Spencer (l) and Captain Hannah Le Sage (r). Image: Cavan Flynn

The impressive goal attack was delighted to return to the captaincy, but she said leadership was a shared responsibility at the Bull Sharks. 

“Leadership to me means embodying the culture and values we've fostered at Bond, leading by example and fostering collaboration within our team,” she said. 

“It's about having a shared vision and working together toward our end goal.”

Ella Spencer is Sapphire vice-captain. 

An athletic and tenacious defender, Spencer enjoyed something of a breakout season last year. Her work ethic and willingness to learn earned her the Coaches’ Player award at season end. With so much momentum and energy emanating from defensive effort in netball games, Spencer knows she’ll get plenty of opportunities to let her playing do the talking. 

“Stepping into a leadership role in our Sapphire squad is an absolute privilege and means and I’m looking forward to embracing the responsibility of leading by example,” she said.

“I think it is important to be united as a group with common goals and a clear understanding of what we stand for.” 

The Bull Sharks Ruby side will be led by a group of three. 

Harriet Ocean and Abby
Ruby leadership: (l to r) Harriet Nicholson, Ocean Karekare and Abby Boland. Image: Cavan Flynn

After her extraordinary defensive feats last season, it’s no surprise Harriet Nicholson joins the Ruby leadership team. A music teacher and classical violinist away from the rigours of elite sport, the 2023 Ruby MVP was an absolute rock in defence, and her determination in the contest is sure to inspire. 

Ocean Karekare has also been named. The crafty, quick midcourter has gathered loads of seni

or experience despite her relative youth, and she’ll call on that to inspire the group. 

Abby Boland rounds out the Ruby leadership trio. The tall shooter’s star has risen swiftly since the 2022 State Titles when she quietly earned herself a Queensland U19 Training Partner spot. As her self-belief has blossomed, so too has her leadership potential. 

Skippers of the Emerging and Development Pathways Elite Premier League teams have also been announced. 

Xantha and Evie
Development Pathways captains: Captain Xanthe Maxwell (l) and Vice-Captain Evie Stower (r). Image: Cavan Flynn

Xanthe Maxwell, the 2023 Bull Sharks Coaches’ Award winner for her efforts for the Bull Sharks at last year’s Under 18 State Titles, will captain the Development Pathways side. Powerful, skilful goal attack Evie Stower, an obvious offseason improver, is vice-captain. 

The Emerging Pathways side will be skippered by FNQ-raised defender, and Bond University Bachelor of Psychological Science student, Caitlin Jackson. Ava Hoffmann will deputise.

Bond University Head of Netball Kim Boland says leaders were picked because they live and breathe Bull Sharks values. 

“We want our leaders to ‘be bold and be Bond’ this year,” she said. “We really want all our players to buy into our values and the players we have chosen as leaders are showing all the attributes.”

Cait and Ava
Emerging Pathways captains: Captain Caitlin Jackson (l) and Vice- Captain Ava Hoffmann (r). Image: Cavan Flynn

“We are in the fortunate position of having any number of girls among our roster who ‘walk the talk’, but we believe the leaders we’ve selected take absolute responsibility for their personal performance, they really own the opportunity to lift their teammates by their example, and they’re brave, loyal and extremely driven.”

Bond Bull Sharks’ Ruby team will open their season against Darling Downs Panthers this Sunday, April 21 at Nissan Arena at 4pm.

The Sapphire team will enjoy an extra week’s preparation with a first-round bye before getting their campaign underway with a local derby against the Gold Coast Titans on April 27. 

Bond’s Emerging and Development teams kickstart their seasons this Friday night with a series of grading games. 




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