Caldwell excited about prospect of home Test debut

www.mbphoto.co.nzAustralian Diamonds goal attack Tegan Caldwell is excited about the prospect of playing her first Test on home soil in front of family and friends tomorrow night.

The Diamonds take on New Zealand in the opening match of the Real Insurance Netball Test Series at Melbourne’s Hisense Arena, which also doubles as the second game of the Constellation Cup series.

Caldwell said it will be a memorable moment in her career to wear the green and gold and had a mixture of excitement and nerves ahead of the Test.

“It’s exciting to be playing in Australia let alone in Melbourne,” Caldwell, who’s played six Tests for Australia, said today.

“If I get some court time that will be really exciting and to have my family and friends in the crowd will definitely be something special.

“It’s a real honor to be wearing the green and gold and everytime you get to put that dress on is really special. Hopefully there’s more chances for me to do that.”

The last time Caldwell was out on court at Hisense Arena she spearheaded the Melbourne Vixens to the 2014 ANZ Championship title, also winning the Player of the Match award in the Grand Final against the Queensland Firebirds.

Having made her international debut during this year’s Commonwealth Games, the 26-year-old was given a quarter of court time by coach Lisa Alexander in the Diamonds’ 17-goal win over the Silver Ferns to open the Constellation Cup in Invercargill last Thursday night.

But Caldwell is more than happy to watch the in-form combination of Caitlin Bassett and Natalie Medhurst continue to dominate like they have in recent Tests as long as the Diamonds keep winning.

“I was definitely rapt to get on and feel what’s it like to get back out on court again and the more experiences you’re given the more comfortable you get. So I’m just hoping for some more opportunities,” Caldwell said.

“That’s one of the best things about this team. Everyone is happy to do our role whether that’s out on court or on the bench supporting the other girls.”

Diamonds and Vixens teammate Madi Robinson said it would be a special moment for Caldwell if her Test debut in Australia came in Melbourne.

“There will be a lot of nerves but also excitement at the same time. Obviously it’s a huge honor to wear the green and gold at any time but in your home state there’s that added bit extra excitement because there’s a lot of Vixens fans and family and friends that can come along,” Robinson said.

“It would be awesome to see Teags take the court. She’s worked extremely hard over the last few years so it will be great to be out on court with her but we’ll just have to wait and see.

“I know that each training session she’s soaking in every bit of information that she can and working on those combinations so that when she gets that opportunity she really makes it count.

“We know that the Silver Ferns will come out firing and I’m sure Tegan will be ready to go whenever she gets her opportunity.”

Wednesday night’s Test will be the Diamonds’ first appearance in front of an Australian crowd since winning the Commonwealth Games Gold Medal in Glasgow in August.

Caldwell said the team was looking forward to celebrating that achievement with the fans over the four Tests of the Real Insurance Netball Test Series against the Silver Ferns and England over the next three weeks.

The 2014 Constellation Cup continues on Wednesday 8 October when the Australian Diamonds host the Silver Ferns at Hisense Arena, Melbourne, from 7.00pm (AEST). The match will be shown live on FOX Sports and SBS2 and also broadcast live on ABC Grandstand online.