Thwaites on target to have World Cup impact

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In-form shooter Caitlin Thwaites is ready to make an impact in the Australian Diamonds Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015 campaign.

Thwaites is part of the Diamonds’ formidable shooting line-up which includes Caitlin Bassett, Natalie Medhurst and Erin Bell.

There’s an aura of confidence around Thwaites’ game heading into her first world championship after coming off a career-best season with the NSW Swifts in the ANZ Championship.

2015 ANZ ChampionshipANZ Grand FinalQueensland Firebirds v NSW SwiftsThwaites shot 506 goals at an average of just under 30 a match to help the Swifts reach the ANZ Championship Grand Final.

Those were numbers that saw her named the Swifts’ Most Valuable Player for the season.

She was the third most accurate shooter in the league, scoring at 88 per cent accuracy, and was also ranked the third-highest goal scorer from long range with 96 goals.

Only New Zealand’s Maria Tutaia and Diamonds teammate Bell were more productive from long-range. Thwaites rates her 2015 season as one of her best – but not just because of her volume of goals.

“This year, especially in the back half of the year, in terms of percentage-wise I’ve been shooting the best I probably have across a consistent number of games,” Thwaites said from the Diamonds training camp on the Gold Coast.

“Normally, sometimes you’ll shoot well in one game and then have a down game.

“But in terms of my consistency, that’s been good. We’re still striving for that 100 per cent game every time you step out, on our so still lots to work on but we’re in good stead.

“More than anything it’s a confidence thing in terms of the players around me – having people around me to give me that confidence and within myself as well.

“That’s maybe something I’ve struggled with a few years ago and I’ve been working hard on and off the court on knowing my role so when I step out on court I know what I need to do.”

Australian Diamonds v EnglandTest 2- CanberraThe 28-year-old has been part of the Australian squad for a number of years, but had to wait until 2012 to make her debut.

She’s played 11 Tests – seven of those coming in 2014 as part of the triumphant Commonwealth Games campaign and then in the international Test Series against New Zealand and England.

Swifts captain and Diamonds vice-captain Kimberlee Green said a feature of Thwaites’ game in the ANZ Championship in the past two years has been her ability to adapt to different defensive combinations – but not lose any impact.

“Caity has come on in leaps and bounds this year,” Green said. “To be honest, she is probably one of the best shooters in the world right now.

“Caity is not like CBass (Bassett). They bring completely different elements to the game so she’s definitely putting her hand up for a spot there.”

The Diamonds have three weeks of home-based preparation before they get back together for their final training camp in Newcastle.

It’s less than a month until Australia’s opening match of the Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015 against Trinidad & Tobago on August 7 and Thwaites said the excitement was building in the team.

“It’s been a big week (on the Gold Coast) and more than anything I’m excited and looking forward to the next three weeks of solid preparation, getting to Newcastle and then hitting the ground running,” she said.

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.

Tickets for Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015 are available from www.nwc2015.com.au/tickets