Diamonds prepare for Squad Camp

_MCA1340LiThe selection process for Australia’s Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015 side begins this week when the Diamonds squad gathers in Canberra for what is shaping as an intense three-day selection camp.

Coach Lisa Alexander and her selectors will run a close eye over their squad of 18 as they start to piece together which 12 athletes will help the Diamonds defend their world crown in August.

The camp is being held at Netball Australia’s Centre of Excellence between 5-7 May following Round 10 of the ANZ Championship.

There will be two forced changes from the team that won last year’s Commonwealth Games Gold Medal over New Zealand in convincing fashion with Bianca Chatfield (retired) and Madi Robinson (injured) not part of this year’s squad.

Along with the squad there are five invitees involved at the camp – including recently naturalised Adelaide Thunderbirds goal shooter Carla Borrego.

Competition for spots in all areas of the court is expected to be intense with every player at squad camp eager to be part of the Diamonds team playing a world championship on home soil for the first time in 24 years.

_MCA1446LiMelbourne Vixens goal shooter Karyn Bailey has been named in the Diamonds squad for the third consecutive year and has her sights set on making the final team for the first time.

Bailey knows competition for places in the shooting circle will be strong competing against the likes of the in-form Caitlin Bassett, Caitlin Thwaites, Natalie Medhurst, Erin Bell and her Vixens’ teammate Tegan Philip.

“I know that I’ve only got this opportunity to show selectors why I deserve to be in that team,” Bailey said.

“My first ever squad camp was so daunting and I was so intimidated.

“You’ve just got to go out and put everything you possibly can on court. It’s always tough and intimidating because you’ve got all these amazing athletes around you and you want to be able to show that you can get out on court and match it with the best of them.”

Combinations shape as a critical part of the selection process and the 27-year-old Bailey said each shooter in the squad brings a different skillset.

“You look at Nat Medhurst and she’s a very smart player and Erin Bell or Tegan have speed and are deceptively fast,” Bailey said.

“The best way shine to the selectors is make sure you shine well as a combination. If I can offer something different or what selectors are looking for that might give me an advantage. All I can do is go in there and play your own game and hope for the best.”

While making the Australian team is a special moment for any player, Bailey said the fact that the Netball World Cup is being played on home soil for the first time in 24 years was extra motivation.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity and to represent my country is something that I’ve wanted to do for so long,” Bailey said. ”If I’m lucky enough to get that opportunity, then that would be amazing.”

The 2015 Australian Diamonds Squad is: Karyn Bailey (Melbourne Vixens/NT), Caitlin Bassett (West Coast Fever/WA), Erin Bell (Adelaide Thunderbirds/NSW), Ashleigh Brazill (West Coast Fever/NSW), Rebecca Bulley (Queensland Firebirds/VIC), Julie Corletto (NSW Swifts/VIC), Laura Geitz (Queensland Firebirds/QLD), Kimberlee Green (NSW Swifts/NSW), Renae Hallinan (Adelaide Thunderbirds/VIC), Sharni Layton (NSW Swifts/VIC), April Letton (West Coast Fever/NSW), Claire McMeniman (Queensland Firebirds/QLD), Natalie Medhurst (West Coast Fever/SA), Tegan Philip (Melbourne Vixens/VIC), Kim Ravaillion (Queensland Firebirds/NSW), Gabi Simpson (Queensland Firebirds/NSW), Caitlin Thwaites (NSW Swifts/VIC), Khao Watts (West Coast Fever/SA).

Camp invitees: Carla Borrego (Adelaide Thunderbirds/SA), Shae Brown (West Coast Fever/VIC), Amy Steel (Adelaide Thunderbirds/VIC), Gretel Tippett (Queensland Firebirds/QLD), Liz Watson (Melbourne Vixens/VIC).

Want to know more about Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015? Visit: www.nwc2015.com.au
Tickets for NWc2015:  www.nwc2015.com.au/tickets