Training camp begins our `Going For Gold’ campaign

Australia Diamonds and the Malawi Queens Game 2

It might be eight months until the Commonwealth Games begin but the campaign has already started for Australia’s netballers.

Coach Lisa Alexander and 17 athletes have gathered at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra for a week-long training camp to start planning the team’s assault for next year’s Games in Glasgow.

Those at the camp are the 14 athletes who played in the New Zealand and Malawi series along with defender Julie Corletto, midcourter Gabi Simpson and shooter Tegan Caldwell, who were part of the original extended squad named mid-year.

The theme of the camp is `Going For Gold’ as Australia strives to win its first Commonwealth Games gold medal since 2002.

The athletes will in camp until Sunday before they return to their respective ANZ Championship franchises and begin their pre-season training.

Australian team’s strength and conditioning coach Leigh Smith said it was important to plan each athlete’s schedule now as they prepare to tackle another season with the Games being held in early August.

“We’re making sure that, on and off the court, everything is in place,” Smith said.

“It’s about bringing everyone back up to speed mentally and physically for when they go back to their franchises.

“This is start of our next campaign.”

It’s been six weeks since Australia’s last Test against Malawi and Smith said some players had taken the opportunity to rest while others had continued some form of training.

“We’ve told them we don’t expect them to come back super fit and super strong,” he said.

“We’ve got something different planned each day.”