Diamonds team announced
Sunday August 12, 2012
The Australian Diamonds team for this year’s international season was announced by coach Lisa Alexander in Canberra yesterday.
Defender Bianca Chatfield and shooter Susan Pratley return to international for the first time since the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Chatfield’s combination with Geva Mentor was an integral part of Melbourne Vixens road to the ANZ Championship Grand Final and Sharni Layton’s decision to undergo shoulder surgery paved the way for the 30 year-old’s recall.
For Pratley, the departure of Catherine Cox to West Coast Fever allowed the shooter to lead NSW Swifts in attack during this year’s ANZ Championship campaign.
Cox’s West Coast Fever team mate in midcourter Ashleigh Brazill coupled her consistent club form with an outstanding performance at the selection camp.
“She’s a prodigious talent and I think she’s stepped up again this year and certainly her performances at this squad camp have been first class,” Alexander said.
Three extra players have been added to the usual 12 player strong team that will contest a three Test series against New Zealand’s Silver Ferns next month and a six Test International Quad Series in October.
This year’s international season signals the start of a fresh four year cycle that includes the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and Netball World Championships in 2015.
It’s believed that players will be rotated through the 12 in an attempt to give as many players as possible an opportunity to play international netball.
“It’s about ensuring that we’re giving our Diamonds as much exposure to international competition as possible in preparation for 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2015 World Netball Championships in Sydney,” Alexander said.
Veteran shooter Cox’s inclusion in the team sees her on the verge of becoming just the fourth player in Australian netball history to notch up 100 Tests.
Missing from the team is Susan Fuhrmann, who had previously been a mainstay in the Diamonds defence across a number of years.
Alexander was impressed with how the goal keeper reacted to her omission.
“I’ve known Susan quite closely now for a couple of years and she’s one incredible women in so many ways and it was a very tough decision.”
“We took every avenue and thoroughly discussed every scenario and gave Susan every opportunity but the sort of person she is, she took it on the chin and wished everyone well which shows the type of person that she is.”
2012 Australian Diamonds Team:
Rebecca Bulley (Adelaide Thunderbirds)
Bianca Chatfield (Melbourne Vixens)
Julie Corletto (Melbourne Vixens)
Laura Geitz (Queensland Firebirds)
Mo’onia Gerrard (NSW Swifts)
Ashleigh Brazill (West Coast Fever)
Madison Browne (Melbourne Vixens)
Kimberlee Green (NSW Swifts)
Chelsea Pitman (Queensland Firebirds)
Natalie von Bertouch (Adelaide Thunderbirds)*
Caitlin Bassett (West coast Fever)
Erin Bell (Adelaide Thunderbirds)
Catherine Cox (West Coast Fever)*
Natalie Medhurst (Queensland Firebirds)
Susan Pratley (NSW Swifts)
*= selection is subject to fitness
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