Fever coach won't let critics distract her

Fever coach Stacey Marinkovich has the chance to prove the doubters wrong in Sunday's grand final against the Vixens, but it's not at the forefront of her mind.

STACEY MARINKOVICH Head Coach of the Fever talks to her team at Perth Arena in Perth, Australia.
STACEY MARINKOVICH Head Coach of the Fever talks to her team at Perth Arena in Perth, Australia. Picture: Ross Swanborough/Getty Images

West Coast Fever coach Stacey Marinkovich says she isn't viewing Sunday's netball grand final against Melbourne Vixens as a chance to silence her critics.

Some sectors of Australia's netball community were shocked in August when Marinkovich was appointed Diamonds coach.

Marinkovich never played for Australia and former Diamonds captain Liz Ellis had led calls for the appointment to be someone with international experience.

Melbourne Vixens coach Simone McInnis had been the early favourite to succeed Lisa Alexander.

Marinkovich never won a national title as a player, but she now has the chance to display her coaching prowess in the Super Netball decider against the Vixens in Brisbane.

But she isn't looking to prove a point to those who criticised her appointment as Diamonds coach.

"This isn't about me on Sunday, this is about our collective and how hard we've worked to be able to get out there and perform," Marinkovich said.

"When I'm around this group, it is all about Fever.

"I've got a Fever hat on. It's about our brand, it's about the relationships we've been building.

"Regardless of the result, I know that we've taken enormous steps forward. I think if we're playing at our best, then the result will fall our way."

McInnis was adamant the Diamonds snub wouldn't serve as extra motivation for her in the grand final.

"Absolutely not," she said.

"Stacey's the Diamonds coach, and well earned, quality coach and quality person.

"Once that process was done, my focus was absolutely with the Vixens and that's all irrelevant to me now."

The Fever will start as underdogs against the Vixens, who finished on top of the ladder and lost just twice this year.

But the Fever have been one of the form teams in the second half of the season and led the Vixens by 14 goals in round 10 before the match ended in a thrilling 63-63 draw.

West Coast have been without midcourter Ingrid Colyer since she tore her ACL in the round-six loss to the Firebirds.

But there will be a slice of Colyer in the way that the Fever play the game on Sunday.

"We actually have a game plan strategy that we name after her and it's named that because of the way in which she plays the game," Marinkovich said.

"That just shows you the level of respect that she has from the players - that she can instigate a change and the level of energy out on the court.

"She actually hasn't played it herself, it's something that's evolved since she's been off the court."