2017 is shaping up to be a huge year for netball. We have already had a busy three weeks overseas with the Diamonds, with a highly successful Netball Quad Series campaign.
Our new leadership group of Sharni Layton, Caitlin Thwaites and Kim Ravaillion did a superb job keeping and enhancing the “sisters in arms” trademark.
Our debutants Caitlyn Nevins and Courtney Bruce were diligent both on and off the court and it won’t be long before Courtney has her opportunity on court with the Diamonds. It was wonderful to see Caitlyn’s family in the crowd in Durban when she made her debut against New Zealand.
Our three training partners Emily Mannix, Kate Shimmin and Kristina Brice showed improvement in training over the course of the tour and gained great insight into what it takes to make that next step up.
Diamonds support staff worked tirelessly both on tour and back home in Australia, keeping our Diamonds healthy and fit and ready to perform, for this we thank you.
To win the Netball Quad Series trophy on English soil was very satisfying and would not have been possible without the support of many, including our fans back home and those who attended our test matches overseas.
Competing in an international series so close to the inaugural Suncorp Super Netball season was a challenge within itself, supported by our Suncorp Super Netball head coaches and staff, the team behind the team. Clubs all adapted and assisted in preparing the Diamonds, whilst gearing up for the most competitive and hotly contested world class netball competition.
We hope we made you all proud!
Now to the Suncorp Super Netball which is receiving unprecedented media coverage.
All matches this coming weekend will be close encounters because of the passion and pride to be demonstrated by all in this inaugural competition. For the first time, our game will be live on free-to-air in primetime.
All teams have had tough pre seasons with challenges to deal with and all have been highly professional and well drilled by their Head Coaches. Best wishes to our two debutant Head Coaches at this level, Dan Ryan with the Thunderbids and Kristy Keppich-Birrell with the Magpies.
I will be as neutral as ever, as I must be as National Coach. It is a critical year, with selections for the Australian Commonwealth Games Netball Squad, to take place over the course of this Suncorp Super Netball season.
It’s also going to be a big year for our Australian 21 and Under team as final selections take place for the team to compete at the World Youth Cup in Botswana this July.
Athletes in our pathways will compete in 17 and 19 and Under Nationals in Canberra this April, with our new look Australian Netball League integrating with Suncorp Super Netball.
It is literally all happening!
Less than 14 months to go until the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018.
Photography: Getty Images