The newest member of the Australian Diamonds team Paige Hadley has found an unlikely source of support as she prepares for her maiden Netball World Cup, which begins on Friday in Sydney.
The 22-year-old has been sharing advice with Madi Robinson, whose midcourt shoes she’s filling for the 10-day tournament.
Robinson suffered a season ending knee injury during the ANZ Championship, which ruled the Victorian out of contention for World Cup selection.
The reigning Liz Ellis Diamond winner, Australian netball’s highest individual honour, could have been forgiven for being disappointed but Robinson has been the team’s biggest supporter.
“I got to chat with Madi on the Gold Coast when she came up to visit the team and we’ve been texting each other ever since,” Hadley said.
“She’s been a massive support, she’s full of confidence and tells me to go out and do my thing and that I’m here (in the Diamonds) for a reason.
“She told me to never look back and enjoy the moment so I can’t thank Madi enough and I know that she’s going to be there cheering us on from the sidelines.”
But, if any player understands what Robinson is going through, it’s Hadley.
After making her international debut against Malawi in 2013, Hadley’s season was prematurely cut short with a knee injury of her own last year.
“In return I’ve been able to share my own rehabilitation experience and support Madi through hers,” Hadley said.
Hadley says she’s still coming to terms of her World Cup selection ahead of her return to the green and gold on the sport’s biggest stage.
“I still have to pinch myself because it’s so exciting,” Hadley said.
“To be a part of all of this, to be in Newcastle with the Diamonds for camp, I just can’t believe the World Cup is only days away.”
Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015 will be held at Sydney Olympic Park from August 7–16. The Diamonds begin their World Cup campaign against Trinidad and Tobago on Friday, 7 August at Allphones Arena at 9.05pm (AEST).
Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015 will be broadcast in Australia on FOX SPORTS, Network TEN and via the Netball Live app, available to download from the App Store and Google Play. For more information on tickets visit www.nwc2015.com.au/tickets.