It’s finals time around the country for many local netball competitions.
It’s also the time that we look forward to the Real Insurance International Test Series where the Diamonds will be in action pitted against New Zealand’s Silver Ferns and the England Netball Team.
The first step towards defending the Constellation Cup against the Silver Ferns started this week when we named our team for the Test series.
Following the retirement of Bianca Chatfield from the international scene, I’m pleased to announce that Kim Green steps up to the plate as acting vice-captain for this important series.
She takes over from Bianca at a critical time for the team as we strive to improve in our goal of achieving back-to-back success in our two benchmark events – the achievement of the Commonwealth Games Gold Medal in Glasgow and the mission to win the Netball World Cup in Sydney next year.
The announcement of the team meant I could also deliver some terrific news for both Rebecca Bulley and Clare McMeniman.
Both will share duties in the defensive position left vacant by Bianca for three Tests each over the series.
Bec is a true professional and was unlucky to miss selection in the Commonwealth Games team, but she fulfilled her role as a training partner superbly well. It will be terrific to see her back in the green and gold!
For Clare, this moment is a dream come true – albeit later in her netball career – but nonetheless valued by this proud Queenslander and Australian.
It will be a treat to witness Clare in action for her country and to see her renowned work ethic on court in action for the Diamonds.
The Real Insurance International Test Series team features 11 members of our triumphant Commonwealth Games gold medal-winning side and they are all excited to play in front of their family and friends and fans as we celebrate our achievement from Glasgow.
This series our the next step towards the Netball World Cup.
The influence of Ray McLean from Leading Teams cannot be overstated enough in the preparation of the Diamonds in our `Going for Gold’ campaign.
Ray’s skills in presenting the “Mount Everest” analogy at our team camp prior to Glasgow Games was instrumental in the team’s behaviours in the quest for achieving the ultimate prize, a gold medal.
It will also be a major pleasure for me and the team to play in front of our fans in Melbourne, Sydney, Bendigo and Canberra. To see the intense and physical live action of the top three nations in netball in the world is a sporting aficionado’s dream.
We always play better in front of loud, passionate packed stadiums – so get your tickets now to be a part of the team behind the team!
I was delighted to hear great news this week that the Diamonds had been nominated in four categories for this year’s Women’s Health I Support Women in Sport Awards
It is so good to see our achievements recognised in the women’s sporting arena.
Please vote for us and support these awards as they are a fantastic platform for the celebration of women’s sport!
I also must commend the Ellinbank Football and Netball Club in country Victoria where I conducted a recent coaching clinic and talk for ANZ in my role as an ANZ Netball Nation Ambassador.
This club is a magnificent example of true Aussie sporting spirit and the strength of communities in our wide brown land.
It was a pleasure to coach all the grades of netball in the club in preparation for their Grand Finals and to pass on a big thank you for their support of the Diamonds.
Get your tickets for Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra – we would love to see you at one of our matches!