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Captaincy lessons stir West Coast Fever leader Courtney Bruce

Courtney Bruce says she learnt plenty from leading West Coast Fever into a maiden Super Netball grand final in 2018 as she prepares for her second year at the helm.

Fever open their new season against Adelaide on the road on Sunday as they try to go one better in 2019 following their history-making season last year.

Though Bruce was outstanding and won the team’s MVP, the star goalkeeper copped criticism for being too positive in the wake of West Coast’s grand final loss to Sunshine Coast.

“I learnt that everyone has emotions differently, everyone reacts in a different way and I guess everyone is entitled to feel the way they want to feel and someone’s comment here and there doesn’t define who I am as a person,” Bruce said.

“I guess in terms of my leadership, I have reflected and tried to work out if there were moments when I could have said more to the team or more to individual players to try and get something out of them leading into that last quarter.

“But I guess I’ve just learnt how to better balance who I am as a player, my emotions, my energy as captain. I’ve learnt how to better fine-tune those, especially leading into big matches.”

Bruce, 25, is excited about the new season and believes the Fever squad is fitter and stronger than ever.

“I think we’ve actually got 10 players who could take the court, which I think is the most consistent we’ve ever been in that area,” she said.

“We’ll definitely be a team that will rotate, which I think gives us a lot of variety out there. This week everyone will be putting their best foot forward, as they have been all pre-season.”

Bruce is preparing for a showdown with New Zealand veteran Maria Folau in the season opener — one of a raft of new Thunderbirds, who did not win a game last season and had a losing average of 19 goals.

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