SELECTION DILEMMA FACING DIAMONDS AHEAD OF FIRST TEST

 

Australian Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander is facing a selection headache ahead of the first Constellation Cup Test against the New Zealand Silver Ferns in Invercargill on Sunday.

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The new look Diamonds side will be given until game day before Alexander and her coaching staff make any decision on the team’s starting line-up for the trans-Tasman series opener.

“It’s what you want as a coach; you want selection to be difficult which is where we find ourselves right now with two options for each position so it’s a great headache,” Alexander said.

“We’ve got four terrific defenders, midcourters and shooters to choose from so we’re spoilt for choice but it’s a matter of getting those combinations right.”

Without former captain Natalie von Bertouch, Catherine Cox and Mo’onia Gerrard, the door has opened for young gun Kimberley Ravaillion, shooter Caitlin Thwaites and 2013 ANZ Championship premiership defender Sharni Layton.

Despite missing 252 games of international experience, Alexander believes her side’s versatility and combination options pose a challenge for the reigning title holders.

“We are unpredictable, they have some challenges about what we’re going to put out there on court in the first Test because we’ve got some different combinations,” Alexander said.

“The players know that every position is still up for grabs so no one is expecting a start,” Alexander said.

“I want hungry athletes, players who are desperate to get out there and win for Australia.”

The Australian Diamonds take on the New Zealand Silver Ferns in the first Test of the 2013 Constellation Cup at SIT Zero Fees Velodrome in Invercargill on Sunday at 5.40pm (AEST).

The first Test of the 2013 Constellation Cup will be broadcast live on FOX SPORTS 3 from 5pm (AEST) and SBS 2 from 5.30pm (AEST).