West Coast Fever captain Catherine Cox will line up against her former team mates for the first time when the NSW Swifts host the Fever at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre in Round 8 of the ANZ Championship.
Cox, who captained the Swifts for the first four years of the competition and led them to the inaugural premiership in 2008, was lured to the West Coast Fever by former Diamonds coach Norma Plummer during the off-season.
The 98-Test veteran now leads arguably the most exciting team of rising stars as they seek to qualify for the franchise’s first Finals Series – an opportunity that has excited and rejuvenated the 35-year old.
"I've really loved it," Cox told the Sydney Morning Herald.
"It's been a completely new challenge for me, which is obviously not something I was expecting to have at this stage of my career.
"I'm really glad that the move happened. It's probably got me out of my comfort zone a little bit and I'm enjoying playing with the new, young team and working with Norma again."
Cox has played down the much anticipated fixture, saying that the past is water under the bridge;instead the Fever is focused on ending the Swifts’ four-game winning streak at home.
"I moved on and moved over here and with that in mind, completely moved on from everything that happened," Cox said.
"The move was a forced one I guess, but having said that, it's an opportunity that I wouldn't have had any other time.
"Everything that happens in the past is in the past and I'm just looking forward to getting over there and having a good match with what is a very strong Swifts team.
"They are playing really well and it's going to be a big challenge for us.
With two wins from their first seven games of the season and winless in their past three games, the Fever are eager to return to the right side of the ledger as they work towards securing the franchise’s first finals appearance.
The Fever sits four points adrift of the Swifts in fourth place, a side they’ve only beaten twice in eight previous occasions with both victories coming in 2009.
The Swifts, with a game in hand courtesy of their bye two weeks ago, are looking to boost their percentage to further their chances of securing a finals berth.
The Swifts are sitting on 97.63 per cent however they’re being sandwiched by four teams with a percentage greater than 100 per cent, a dangerous position to be in with just one win separating themselves and fifth place, Queensland Firebirds.
The Firebirds will be gunning for their third consecutive win as they look to continue their mid-season revival after a slow start to the season when they travel to Invercargill to take on the Southern Steel.
Another victory will again see the Firebirds knocking on the door of the top four should the Swifts fall to the Fever.
Despite their mixed season to date, the Firebirds boast the competition’s third best percentage with 110.3 per cent, including the most potent attack in Romelda Aiken and Natalie Medhurst with the pair combining for a league leading 364 goals, three more than the Adelaide Thunderbirds.
The Melbourne Vixens face another stern challenge, this time in the form of last year’s Grand Finalists, Northern Mystics at Hisense Arena on Sunday.
The Vixens, who suffered their first defeat of the season to the Swifts last weekend, are undefeated at home this year but a danger game looms against the Mystics with a second straight loss to potentially see them fall back to third after this weekend.
In a battle of second versus third, the Vixens lead the Mystics by a solitary win and a superior percentage however they may swing the other way should the New Zealanders get up on Sunday afternoon.
The league leading Adelaide Thunderbirds have a chance to further cement themselves at the top of the table when they travel to New Zealand to take on the Central Pulse while the WBOP Magic play to Canterbury Tactix in an unusual Saturday fixture.
Round 8 Fixture and Broadcast Details
Canterbury Tactix v WBOP Magic
CBS Arena, Christchurch
Saturday 19 May 4.20pm
TV: ONE 12.00am (Sunday)
Telstra BigPond Sport: Sat 5pm AEST
Melbourne Vixens v Northern Mystics
Hisense Arena, Melbourne
Sunday 20 May 12.10pm
TV: Channel TEN LIVE
Telstra BigPond Sport: Tues 7pm AEST
NSW Swifts v West Coast Fever
Newcastle Entertainment Centre, Newcastle
Sunday 20 May 2.20pm
TV: Channel TEN LIVE
Telstra BigPond Sport: Sun 5pm AEST
Southern Steel v Queensland Firebirds
Stadium Southland's ILT Velodrome, Invercargill
Sunday 20 May 7.20pm
TV: ONE 11.30pm
Telstra BigPond Sport: Wed 7pm AEST
Central Pulse v Adelaide Thunderbirds
TSB Arena, Wellington
Monday 21 May 7.40pm
TV: ONE 12.50am (Tuesday)
Telstra BigPond Sport: Mon 7pm AEST
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