A quick start will be key to a successful campaign for the Australian Fast5 Flyers according to co-captain Susan Pratley when the 2013 Fast5 Netball World Series kicks off in Auckland on Friday.
With three games on the opening day of competition tomorrow and the nature of the modified game means the Flyers need to settle quickly as they look to make a winning start.
“It’s going to be hard to get straight into it but the game is only 24 minutes long so it’s important to get a strong start and carry it through the first three games,” Pratley said.
“We need to get out of our comfort zones and try some different things, I’m sure there will be a few nerves for the young girls so it will be about helping them settle and get into the game as quickly as they can,” Pratley said.
The Flyers open their Fast5 Netball World Series campaign off against England, Malawi and defending champions New Zealand on Friday before concluding the round robin phase with games against South Africa and Jamaica on Saturday.
The Australians, who finished sixth at last year’s tournament after failing to win a game, have not finished better than third at the tournament, which features modified rules including five players-a-side and multiple point scoring zones.
“We’re going for three from three on Friday; Australian netball teams don’t come over here just to play, we need to make sure we’re winning and having some fun along the way,” Pratley said, who co-captains alongside Demelza McCloud.
“We’ve looked back at the videos from last year and what we need to do is experiment a bit more, embrace the rule changes and not just play safe netball.”
The young Flyers side, with an average age of just 24.1 years, features five members from Australia’s 21/U team, which finished second at the 2013 World Youth Netball Championships, and no returning players from last year’s tournament.
“This side has been selected for specific reasons, everyone in the side has strengths that they bring to a Fast5 tournament, we’ve got shooters capable of shooting the long bombs, we’ve got a very fast centre court and defenders who are very tall,” Pratley said.
The Australian Fast5 Flyers will open their Fast5 Netball World Series campaign against England (3.30pm AEDST), Malawi (5.15pm AEDST) and New Zealand (7.30pm AEDST) on Friday night before games against South Africa (3.45pm AEDST) and Jamaica (6.00pm AEDST) on Saturday.
The 2013 Fast5 Netball World Series will be broadcast live and exclusively in Australia on FOX SPORTS, kicking off at 2.30pm (AEDST) with Jamaica versus South Africa followed by Australia and England.