The West

Fever can build from Eboni s defence
Fever can build from Eboni's defence

West Coast Fever import Eboni Beckford-Chambers says she and her teammates must become the most formidable defensive unit in the ANZ Championship this season.

The dynamic goalkeeper also declared she wanted to become the best defender in the world ahead of what she hoped would be a breakthrough year for the club.

Beckford-Chambers had a solid first year with the Fever last season, making massive strides under coach Norma Plummer.

The 25-year-old showed the benefits of playing in the world's best netball competition during a busy off-season in which she starred for England in their whitewash of the Australian Diamonds in January and was named player of the final in the Fever's win at the Premier Club Challenge in Glasgow in December.

"My first year in the ANZ was definitely a steep learning curve," Beckford-Chambers said.

"Training against the likes of Caitlin Bassett and Catherine Cox week in, week out has definitely helped my performance, not only physically but mentally."

Beckford-Chambers is well aware the pressure will be on even more in 2013 in the absence of retired defender Susan Fuhrmann.

"Losing Susie was a big loss to our team," she said. "When I came here I wanted to learn from her as much as possible. It does mean I have to step up but I have also got three other defenders around me who also have to step up."

She said it was vital the defence was servicing an attack that included three of the best shooters in the country.

"We have to become the most formidable defence," Beckford-Chambers said.

"Hopefully I can step up to the mark and do as good a job as she (Fuhrmann) has done over the past couple of years."

The Surrey product said she was pleased with her first year in Perth but still had a lot to improve on.

Beckford-Chambers was rated ninth for defensive rebounds in the championship in 2012.

She wants to emulate the feats of the competition's best defenders, notably Geva Mentor (Vixens) and Casey Williams (Magic).

"I want to be the best defender in the world and I want to always be at the top of those stats and improving my game from each performance," Beckford-Chambers said.

"I have still got quite a lot to learn and I am embracing all the new things that I am learning."

Beckford-Chambers said there would be marked improvement in the whole team this year.

"We are just really looking forward to the season and there is so much unity," she said.

The Fever open their 2013 season against the NSW Swifts in Sydney on March 25.

The West Australian

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