GEITZ APPOINTED AUSTRALIAN CAPTAIN ON HISTORIC DAY

Defender Laura Geitz has been named as the captain of the Australian Diamonds, becoming just the second Queenslander to hold the position since Australia commenced playing international netball 75 years ago today.

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It has been 75 years since inaugural captain Becky Douglas led the Australians onto the court to host New Zealand in Melbourne on August 20 1938. The Australians won 40-22 and the first chapter of a storied trans-Tasman rivalry was written.

Geitz takes over the captaincy from Natalie von Bertouch who announced her retirement after leading the Adelaide Thunderbirds to an ANZ Championship premiership in July.

“I’m absolutely honoured and overwhelmed to be appointed to the position. When Lisa told me I had the captaincy I got emotional, it was an amazing experience and certainly an opportunity I’m very grateful for,” Geitz said.

“For me this appointment is particularly special because my dad told me that I should put my hand up if the opportunity ever presented itself to lead this team and his was one opinion that I respect the most. It’s humbling to be leading such an amazing group of athletes and I certainly think that we’re capable of some wonderful things together.”

The 25-year-old will lead the Diamonds into the five-Test Constellation Cup series against the New Zealand Silver Ferns and October’s two-Test series against Malawi.

Geitz, a natural leader and widely respected by her peers, captained the Queensland Firebirds to the 2013 ANZ Championship Grand Final against the Adelaide Thunderbirds, going down 50-48 in the decider.

“Laura has shown outstanding leadership qualities as captain of the Firebirds this season and I have no doubt that she will bring those attributes to the international stage for the Australian Diamonds,” Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander said.

“She is highly respected by both her Firebirds and Diamonds teammates, and was a standout performer through the application and interview process for captain.

“Bianca Chatfield was chosen as vice-captain for Constellation Cup while Kim Green has been named vice-captain for the Malawi series after the pair have shown outstanding leadership capabilities.”

Geitz, who made her international debut against England in 2008, has amassed 35 Test appearances, including victory at the 2011 World Netball Championships, and becomes the first Australian captain from Queensland since Vicki Wilson in 1999.

The Australian Diamonds will be out to reclaim the Constellation Cup against the Silver Ferns when the five-Test series kicks off in Invercargill on September 15 before games in Auckland (September 19), Adelaide (October 4), Melbourne (October 7) and Canberra (October 13). Australia’s last international outing ahead of next year’s Commonwealth Games will come against Malawi in Wollongong (October 16) and on the Gold Coast (October 19).

Tickets for the Diamonds international series are available via Ticketek at www.ticketek.com.au, on 132 849 or at any Ticketek outlet.