Former Australian Diamonds captain Natalie von Bertouch has presented Laura Geitz with the traditional captain’s necklace in Adelaide on Thursday.
Geitz was appointed to the role in August following the retirement of von Bertouch, who hung up her bib after leading the Adelaide Thunderbirds to the 2013 ANZ Championship premiership.
“I’ve learnt a wealth of skills and knowledge playing under Nat as captain so I hope that I can do half as good a job as what Nat did during her time as captain,” Geitz said.
“It’s a real challenge for us moving forward to the Commonwealth Games and Netball World Cup but it’s an exciting time and I’ve got plenty of room to grow in this role so I’m sure Nat will be getting lots of phone calls.”
With the necklace around her neck, Geitz’s move into the captaincy is complete ahead of her first Test as captain on home soil on Friday night against the New Zealand Silver Ferns.
Though Geitz admits her Australian captaincy hasn’t completely sunk in yet.
“It was nice to have those two games out of the way; I’ve never dealt with nerves like that before in my life ahead of that first Test as captain so having that game over and done with was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders,” Geitz said.
“Every game is special as captain, walking out for the first time and then I had my family was there to watch me in my second game and now we’re back in Australia for my first Test as captain on home soil then finish the year off with a Test in front of my home crowd.
“To captain your country is something you dream of as a little girl, to be honest; it still hasn’t sunk in properly.”
Geitz becomes the fourth Australian captain to receive the necklace, a tradition started by fellow defender Liz Ellis is 2007.
The Queenslander follows in the footsteps of Ellis, Sharelle McMahon (2008-2011) and von Bertouch (2011-2013) to have the honor of wearing the necklace, which features the former captains’ names engraved on it.
Von Bertouch said she’s looking forward to enjoying Friday night’s game as a spectator for the first time.
“I’m really excited about going to the game because I’ve never sat back and experienced how our crowds have felt, I’ve been a member of the Thunderbirds from quite a young age so I have no memory of watching big games from the sidelines,” von Bertouch said.
“I’m excited about being one of the crowd, cheer on the team and having a special feeling for the girls out on court but to sit back and see what it’s like from the side.”
The opening game of the Coles Netball Test Series between the Australian Diamonds and New Zealand Silver Ferns at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre on Friday will be broadcast live on FOX SPORTS 1 and SBS 2 from 7.30pm (CST) / 8pm (AEST). Tickets are still available from via Ticketek at www.ticketek.com.au, by phone on 132 849 or at any Ticketek outlet.