Australian Diamonds defender Sharni Layton has declared that she’s ready for another shot at the New Zealand Silver Ferns when the 2013 Constellation Cup series kicks off in Invercargill on Sunday.
The 25-year-old premiership defender hasn’t lined up against the Silver Ferns since making her international debut at Vector Arena on 12 June 2011 ahead of the 2011 World Netball Championships.
Layton watched the world championship final and the three-Test series in Australia in 2011 from the bench before injury ruled her out of last year’s Constellation Cup.
“I was shattered last year, I was never expecting to make the team in 2011 so I was really excited and you really want to continue to fight for your spot in the Diamonds once you got your foot in the door but then to have to pull out due to injury is never fun,” Layton said.
“I’ve worked really hard to get back here and it’s really rewarding to be back in the green and gold.”
The Adelaide Thunderbirds defender has enjoyed a consistent year, playing a helping hand in her side’s ANZ Championship Grand Final victory over the Queensland Firebirds.
Back in the Diamonds, Layton is eyeing off a starting spot in the Australian defensive circle which features fellow Thunderbirds team mate Rebecca Bulley, captain Laura Geitz and vice-captain Bianca Chatfield.
“I really want to play and push a spot in the starting seven, I think that I’ve come along way from where I was two years ago,” Layton said.
“I’ve had a lot more experience against the New Zealand players in the ANZ Championship and I believe that I’ve got the experience that I didn’t have back then to be able to put that out on court.
“The games against the Kiwis are the ones you want to play in, to get the chance to go out there against New Zealand is really exciting but I love a good challenge.
“The ANZ Championship is an extremely high standard but from the small experience that I’ve had against the Silver Ferns, one quarter felt like a full game but I’ve been training so hard and I’m definitely ready for that.”
The Australian Diamonds take on the New Zealand Silver Ferns in the first Test of the 2013 Constellation Cup at SIT Zero Fees Velodrome in Invercargill on Sunday at 5.40pm (AEST).
The first Test of the 2013 Constellation Cup will be broadcast live on FOX SPORTS 3 from 5pm (AEST) and SBS 2 from 5.30pm (AEST).