Bell happy to wait in the wings for Diamonds

_MCA2407LiRecalled Australian Diamond Erin Bell is happy to take on a change of positions if it means she can contribute to the team’s Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015 campaign in August.

Renowned as a silky shooter, Bell did actually make her international debut playing at wing attack during Australia’s triumphant 2011 world championship campaign.

Diamonds01LiThe absence of star midcourter Madi Robinson due to injury has opened up the wing attack position in the Diamonds’ team and Bell is eager to put herself forward as an option for coach Lisa Alexander in the lead-up to the world titles.

NSW Swifts pair Kimberlee Green and Paige Hadley, and Queensland Firebird Kim Ravaillion are also options for wing attack.

Alexander said Bell was chosen ahead of others because of her ability to play either in goals or at wing attack.

Although her ANZ Championship season came to an end a month ago, Bell has continued training with her Adelaide Thunderbirds teammate and captain Renae Hallinan, specifically concentrating on fine tuning her skills to fill the midcourt attacking role.

“As much as I’d love to be playing in this team with Madi, you’ve got to take your opportunity when they come,” Bell said.

“I do believe reason I’m in this team is because of that (ability to play dual roles). It’s been perfect training with Renae because if I can hold my own against the best wing defence in the world then that puts me in good stead for the World Cup.

Australia Diamonds and the Malawi QueensGame 1“I know that I’m never going to be that short, quick, dynamic player than any of the specialist wing attacks are. That’s not my style and I’m not going to try and do that. I bring what I can to the position and if I’m needed there and asked to play there, I’ll definitely take it with two hands.

“I’m just excited to be back in the Diamonds culture.”

Bell played the last of her 23 Tests against Malawi on the Gold Coast in October, 2013.

The 28-year-old said the disappointment of missing out on last year’s Commonwealth Games had been her motivation over the last 12 months.

Bell admitted the nerves kicked in when she received the phone call from Alexander on Monday delivering the selection news.

“She just cut to the chase and said `you’re in’ and I’m not that much of an emotional person but I started crying,” Bell said. “I didn’t realise how much it actually meant to me. I always knew that if I was given the opportunity again I wouldn’t let my country down.

“So I was pleased shocked. It’s not every day that you get to play a Netball World Cup in your home state, so I’m stoked about that.”

Outgoing Adelaide Thunderbirds coach Jane Woodlands-Thompson knows how hard Bell had worked over the past 12 months after being overlooked for the Commonwealth Games.

Woodlands-Thompson not only coached Bell for six seasons, but was also assistant coach for last year’s Australian FAST5 team, which Bell co-captained.

www.mbphoto.co.nz“I just admire her resilience and the way she handled herself publically and privately for such a big shock,” Woodlands-Thompson said.

“She set herself positive goals, took on board all the feedback that was given to her last year and she has certainly done everything – left no stone unturned – so I’m rapt for her that she’s been rewarded.

“I think it’s wonderful for her. Sydney is her home town and this is the icing on the cake.”

Bell is also excited to have the opportunity to play a home World Cup in front of family and friends alongside good friend Green.

“When I think back to Singapore and the amount of Australians we had in the crowd there and the atmosphere, it will be a lot bigger this time,” Bell said.

“Having the World Cup here in Australia – in Sydney – will be awesome for the sport and if we can inspire any junior netballers out there that’s going to be great.”