Suzy Batkovic Bonds bind us off court

Townsville Bulletin - - LIFESTYLE -

A LOT of col­umn inches have been ded­i­cated to my neck this week.

Since re­turn­ing to Townsville, I’ve taken real pride in my dura­bil­ity – de­spite an­other birth­day on the hori­zon be­fore Christ­mas – and am des­per­ate to fin­ish my ca­reer on a high.

While I’ve been able to play through pain since the Lon­don Olympics, more re­cently a bulging disk in my neck has been creat­ing nerve is­sues which is im­pact­ing my ca­pac­ity to play.

Hav­ing re­ceived treat­ment dur­ing the week – fingers crossed it will work – I’ve been do­ing ev­ery­thing I can to take the floor tonight and the club and I will make a de­ci­sion just be­fore tip- off.

Ir­re­spec­tive of whether I do or don’t play, I have full con­fi­dence that we have a squad that is more than ca­pa­ble of cov­er­ing my ab­sence.

While I’ve re­ceived a lot of pats on the back for our cham­pi­onship suc­cess, part of the rea­son we’ve been so suc­cess­ful in re­cent years is our abil­ity to play as a team and for play- ers to just play their role. Tonight will be no dif­fer­ent.

The other key rea­son we’ve been suc­cess­ful is the val­ues that we hold and the qual­ity of peo­ple that we re­cruit, so with that in mind, I thought I would lift the lid on this year’s squad and give you a richer un­der­stand­ing of what makes them tick. Mi­caela Cocks is my long­est serv­ing team­mate – she’s not far away from chalk­ing up 200 games for the Fire – and she’s like an en­er­giser bunny.

I get tired just look­ing at her In­sta­gram sto­ries – she’s al­ways cross train­ing or go­ing up Cas­tle Hill or on the bike.

At the mo­ment, Mic and Stella Beck are locked in a cross­word ob­ses­sion and spend their time away from the court tack­ling the lat­est ver­sion. It must be a Kiwi thing!

If you’re a reg­u­lar on The Strand, you’ll of­ten see Zitina Aokuso and Tess Mad­gen rid­ing their skate­boards down there. If you don’t see Tess, you’ll cer­tainly hear her as she has this in­fec­tious laugh that ra­di­ates down the beach and puts a smile on your face. Tess and Stella are also brew­ing their own Kom­bucha and seem a lit­tle too ex­cited about it.

Mean­while, their third house­mate, Ally Malott, has been paint­ing up a storm and is now tak­ing re­quests from her team­mates. She’s also into jig­saws, so their apart­ment looks like it could be a kinder­garten or an arts and craft store.

Lau­rin Mincy and Casey Sa­muels are both ob­sessed by shoes – I like my Nikes but they put me to shame – and Darcee Garbin is the so­cial me­dia queen of the club.

Fi­nally, Mikhaela Don­nelly can be seen around Townsville liv­ing that # MumLife and re­cently bought a trike for Adisyn which they seem to share.

I love sneak­ing cud­dles from her when she’s not on it.

We’re hop­ing for a big crowd tonight – we want you by our side – and I’ll be do­ing ev­ery­thing I can to be back on the floor.

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