As the 2019 Suncorp Super Netball season approaches, Giants Netball goal keeper Sam Poolman expects the competition to go up another level this year.
The 28-year-old minor premiership winner has been part of a national netball competition since the days of the ANZ Championship with the Adelaide Thunderbirds.
She even bagged a Premiership during her time with the South Australian side before making the move to Giants in 2017 when the new franchise was introduced.
However, heading into the third instalment of the Super Netball competition, Poolman knows that the league is only going to get stronger.
"We've seen each year that the game is getting faster, it's getting more skilled, athletes are getting better, and teams are going to get better," she said.
"So at the start of the year, everyone asks which teams are going to be the team to beat or who's going to be the top teams, everyone really struggles now to actually answer that question because every year teams of beating each other.
"You can't pick the top four until the end of the round and I think that's fantastic for our sport so there's been a lot of player movement and I think teams are just step up again, then they have in 2017 and 2018."
It was a heartbreaking blow to the Giants, who had claimed the minor premiership, 2018 campaign with losses in both the major semi-final to West Coast Fever then to eventual Premiers Sunshine Coast Lightning in the preliminary final.
While this is something that has weighed on the mind of the players who were part of that team, Poolman said, it is also providing motivation.
"Obviously, it does at the time and it was devastating that our season was over. It was certainly a long offseason to keep feeling that but we do have new players in the team this year," she said.
"It is a new group and if anything, it certainly provides motivation to be better and why we didn't win that game. So I guess the players that did play, it will always be in the back of our minds.
"We have a new group and we just want to be better than we were last year."