‘White-line fever’ gives Aiken the edge
NETBALL: Superstar Firebirds goal-shooter Romelda Aiken simply puts her dominance down to having plenty of “white-line fever”.
The towering Jamaican attacker promises to again take a win-at-all-costs attitude into the ANZ Championship semi-final against the Southern Steel at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Sunday.
Aiken has been outstanding all season, as she was last year when she helped the Queensland outfit to its second title.
If the Firebirds win, you can bet Aiken will score plenty of goals – she hit 49 from 55 attempts as the Birds beat the NSW Swifts 63-52 to win the Australian Conference title on Monday night.
The hosts will need her to fire again if they’re to make another grand final and attempt to become the first team to win three titles.
“It’s such an exciting and thrilling white-line fever effect I have when I’m out there and I see that ball in the air,” Aiken told Australian Regional Media.
“I know if I catch that one ball it can change everything in the game. I just love to have fun being super competitive.
“The bigger the contest and the more the contact and aggression on court, it gives me so much energy and such a boost.”
Aiken’s attacking partner Gretel Tippett told ARM before the victory over the Swifts that she can “put the ball anywhere and Romelda will grab it. She inspires me.”
Steel goal-keeper Jane Watson is respected throughout the competition, but she faces an immense challenge trying to shut down Aiken.
“Going up against the Steel you can’t underestimate any of their players,” Aiken said. “I won’t be taking my foot off the pedal.”
Aiken said it was the fanatical crowd in last year’s thrilling grand final – which the Firebirds won 57-56 over the Swifts – that greatly assisted her team in getting over the line.
Another parochial crowd will again spur on the tight-knit Firebirds outfit tomorrow.
“Last year we could not even hear the umpires, that’s was how loud it was,” Aiken said.
“It’s going to be a really important game for both teams, but we are a bunch of girls who are just crazy to get out there and play.”