Twelve months ago Natalie Medhurst never watched a minute of Australia’s Quad Series campaign while she recovered from foot surgery.
The star goal attack has returned to the green and gold fitter and better than ever, helping to spearhead the Diamonds’ Constellation Cup series victory over New Zealand.
Medhurst has played a key role in Australia’s three consecutive wins over the Silver Ferns, winning the MVP in the series-clinching victory at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena on Monday night.
She’s shooting at just under 85 per cent accuracy in the series and celebrated her 50th Test milestone in Adelaide last Friday night.
Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander is pleased her combination with goal shooter Caitlin Bassett is growing every match with the pair also to become teammates with West Coast Fever in 2014.
Having regained her spot in the Diamonds line-up after an excellent season in the ANZ Championship with the Queensland Firebirds, Medhurst is clearly making the most of her opportunities with two big years on the horizon.
The 29-year-old has a new-found enthusiasm to be part of Australia’s quest to reclaim the No.1 world ranking off the Silver Ferns by winning gold at next year’s Commonwealth Games in Scotland and defending the world championship crown in Sydney in 2015.
“Obviously I had the surgery in October (last year) and, even though it was forced, it was really good for me to get away from the sport for a bit,” Medhurst said.
“Dare I say it; I actually didn’t watch the Test matches that took place while I was out. I took a complete mental break from it.”
Having been part of two triumphant world championship winning sides over her career in 2007 and 2011, Medhurst is eager to add a Commonwealth Games gold to her trophy cabinet.
“(I am) looking forward (to) 2014 and 2015,” Medhurst said.
“I really thought about what I wanted to still achieve within the sport.
“To come back now and be part of this new and exciting team working with Lisa and (captain) Laura (Geitz) in trying to achieve what we want to, which is Commonwealth Games gold success.”
The 2013 Constellation Cup concludes on Sunday when the Australian Diamonds take on the New Zealand Silver Ferns at Canberra’s AIS Arena. The final Test will be broadcast live on FOX SPORTS and SBS 1 from 2pm.