Flyers keen to carry on Diamonds’ dominance

Constellation Cup Game 5Australia Diamonds v New Zealand Silver FernsAustralian FAST5 Flyers co-captain Erin Bell said the group is determined to maintain Australia’s dominance of world netball at next week’s FAST5 Netball World Series, which takes place over the weekend of 8-9 November in Auckland.

The Adelaide Thunderbirds silky shooter will share the captaincy duties with Queensland Firebirds defender Clare McMeniman.

Bell said the Australian Diamonds have set the standard to which every player in a national squad needs to strive for in order to achieve team and individual goals.

Flyers’ team members Bell, McMeniman, Karyn Bailey and Gabi Simpson are part of the Diamonds squad and know the young players in the team will be looking to them to lead the way.

“We’re representing Australia and the standards are still high,” Bell said. “Coming from the Diamonds environment, I know exactly what’s expected and Clare and I will be hoping to show the young girls how it’s done.

“This tournament is not just an opportunity to represent Australia and have a bit of fun, it’s also a chance to show what you can do at international level. We want to show that we can still beat every country in the world.”

Bell said the Flyers are keen to go one better than last year’s runners up finish to New Zealand and ensure that Australia holds all of world netball’s coveted titles.

“The Diamonds have definitely put the pressure on (but) we want to make sure Australia is still known as the best netballing country,” Bell said.

“So we do need to make sure we’re winning that gold.”

2014 Round 14 ANZ Championship game Adelaide Thunderbirds v Mainland TactixThe 27-year-old, who’s played 23 Tests for Australia, was thrilled to be asked by Flyers coach Jane Searle to take on the co-captaincy role with McMeniman.

“My initial reaction was excitement and nice to know that Jane had that kind of faith in me,” Bell said.

“I’ve always gone by the philosophy that I don’t need the title to be a leader. I always try to lead by example by doing my best and I’ve been in teams where people in leadership positions have been a good influence and role model.

“It’s nice to be recognised (in a leadership role) but it’s not going to change how I do things.”

Bell said she’s delighted to be sharing captaincy duties with McMeniman, who recently made her international debut for Australia.

“I know a lot of the young girls do look up to Clare (because) of her experience, her level-headedness and how she deals with situations because of what she’s done in her career,” Bell said.

Renowned for her long-range shooting, Bell’s ability to score two and three-point goals will be important over the tournament. It’s the first time she’s played in the FAST5 format and is looking forward to testing out her skills.

“It’s a lot harder than it looks but I’ve been enjoying the challenge and still doing a lot of hard work on those three-points shots,” Bell said.

“There’s a lot of thinking involved and, because they’re such short quarters, you have to be really quick on your toes because you can’t take too long to make a decision.

“A lot of the girls have played before so they’re teaching me. It will be good to get over there, I haven’t looked at who’s in the other teams yet but we will once we get over there and I’m sure we’ll give everyone a run for their money.”

You can watch the Fast5 World Netball Series live on Fox Sports.