It’s time to decide our Commonwealth Games team

Constellation Cup Game 4Australia Diamonds v New Zealand Silver Ferns

The moment of truth has arrived for the Australian Diamonds squad as we assemble in Canberra early next week at our new Centre of Excellence for the Commonwealth Games team selection trials.

This camp will consist of an initial meeting with all squad members on Monday evening followed by trials on Tuesday morning and evening and again on Wednesday morning.

The athletes’ well-being and recovery will be first and foremost in our minds throughout the camp to enable maximum rest and recovery time around the match play trials.

However, it is always quality time together that is key in preparations for a benchmark event such as the Commonwealth Games and we will also use this time for all Diamonds support staff to check in with our athletes.

Getting this balance right is a key requirement of our Diamonds support team, which also includes very high input from the ANZ Championship head coaches and their support staff.

Their cooperation has been incredible and highly appreciated.

The announcement of the team will take place next Wednesday afternoon at Parliament House in Canberra.

It is a very exciting time for all of us and in the midst of such a hotly contested ANZ Championship season.

Once selection trials are over, the athletes will be back with their franchises for training next Thursday evening ahead of competing in Round 11 matches.

Our planning around this camp has been 18 months in the making and involved consultation with the athletes, leadership group, ANZ Championship head coaches and High Performance specialists, around the best timing.

The Australian Commonwealth Games Association requires the team to be selected at least six weeks prior to the event. Australia Diamonds and the Malawi QueensGame 2

This would have been smack bang on the eve of the ANZ Championship Finals so to cause the least amount of impact on this most important time of the year, it was thought best to schedule the camp as late in to the season as possible – but still to give teams enough time to have a clear and focused preparation leading into Finals.

This is why we chose Round 10 as the ideal time to hold the selection trials.

The national selectors Annie Sargeant, Michelle Wilkins and I will continue to assess all the ANZ Championship matches this weekend and will have many robust discussions next week at the selection trials in the lead up to naming our 12 players on Wednesday.

We have been in constant contact for the entire season in relation to the selection of this team.

It is, and has been, a very thorough discussion and all scenarios and eventualities must be discussed around a tournament event such as the Commonwealth Games which brings its own special requirements of day-to-day performance.

I want to thank Annie and Michelle for their diligent and thorough work in completing this most important selection process. Their insight and ability to logically work through these decisions is appreciated.

Just this week the selectors and I have met and discussed the need to invite extra athletes along to the selection trials camp next week.

It is also a balancing act between current ANZ Championship form and what is needed, position-wise, to create the best environment for the selected athletes in the squad to perform at their best.

The invitees that were chosen to fulfil these roles are Melbourne Vixens midcourter Kate Moloney and Queensland Firebirds trio Verity Simmons, Clare McMeniman and Jacinta Messer. Well done to those four athletes.

Let the trials begin!

Go Diamonds!

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