NSW athletes named in Diamonds squad

Five NSW junior representatives have been rewarded for their ANZ Championship form with selection in the 2014 Australian Diamonds squad.

Erin Bell, Kimberlee Green, Susan Pratley, Kim Ravaillion and Gabi Simpson were this morning announced in Lisa Alexander’s 18-player squad to contest the Commonwealth Games selection camp in Canberra next month.

2014 NSW Swifts’ athletes Sharni Layton and Caitlin Thwaites have also been named in this squad.

For NSW Swifts’ captain and the incumbent Diamonds’ vice-captain Kimberlee Green, selection in the 2014 Commonwealth Games Team would see her compete in Scotland, a country where her mother Denyse Langford won multiple medals at the 1970 Commonwealth Games held in Edinburgh.

“It’s always an honour to be named in any Diamonds squad, but to now have the opportunity to be selected in the Team for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games makes it even more special,” Green expressed.

“This squad must have been so hard to pick, particularly with so many midcourters putting their hand up with strong performances in the ANZ Championship season.

“As captain of the NSW Swifts, I’m proud to see three teammates have also been selected in this squad, and hopefully this is a reflection of the hard work and results the entire roster has produced so far this year,” concluded Green.

After missing out on Diamonds selection in 2013, shooter Susan Pratley has been rewarded for her stunning performances during the opening seven rounds of the 2014 ANZ Championship, and hopes her trans-Tasman efforts will see her add to her 54 Test Caps.

“I’m excited to be back in the Diamonds squad and to be in the mix for future Team selection,” Pratley said.

“There is no greater honour than representing your country, and it has always been a goal of mine to do so again.

“I’ve worked very hard on all aspects of my game during the off-season, and have been really pleased with my form for the NSW Swifts this year.

“For now my focus remains on helping the Swifts secure a Finals Berth, and hopefully a by-product our team’s success is a seat on the plane to Glasgow,” concluded Pratley.

From Netball Australia Media Release
Seeking Australia’s first Commonwealth Games netball gold medal since 2002 in Manchester, Australian Diamonds Coach’ Lisa Alexander will name her 12-player team at the conclusion of the three-day selection camp at the Australian Institute of Sport from 5-7 May.

“We’re very pleased that we’ve got a strong 18-player squad and in general they’ve all been in consistent and solid form and doing what we want them to be doing at this stage which is terrific, particularly those who have been re-selected into the squad,” Alexander said.

“It’s all about who we believe have the best chances of selection at this stage through their performances in the ANZ Championship, plus past international considerations, and execution of the personal performance plans that we set at the start of the year.”

The squad will initially contest Commonwealth Games selection camp next month before regrouping later in the year for Australian Diamonds selection ahead of September and October’s international Test series.

Australia opens its 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games account against Wales on Thursday 24 July ahead of their remaining pool matches against England, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago and South Africa.

2014 Australian Diamonds Squad:
(ANZ Championship team/state of origin)
Karyn BAILEY (Melbourne Vixens/NT)
Caitlin BASSETT (West Coast Fever/WA)
Erin BELL (Adelaide Thunderbirds/NSW)*
Rebecca BULLEY (Adelaide Thunderbirds/VIC)
Tegan CALDWELL (Melbourne Vixens/VIC)
Bianca CHATFIELD (Melbourne Vixens/VIC)
Julie CORLETTO (Northern Mystics/VIC)
Laura GEITZ (Queensland Firebirds/QLD)
Kimberlee GREEN (NSW Swifts/ NSW)*
Renae HALLINAN (Adelaide Thunderbirds/VIC)
Sharni LAYTON (NSW Swifts/VIC)
Natalie MEDHURST (West Coast Fever/SA)
Susan PRATLEY (NSW Swifts/NSW)*
Kim RAVAILLION (Queensland Firebirds/NSW)*
Madi ROBINSON (nee BROWNE) (Melbourne Vixens/VIC)
Gabi SIMPSON (Queensland Firebirds/NSW)*
Caitlin THWAITES (NSW Swifts/VIC)
Elizabeth WATSON (Melbourne Vixens/VIC)
* Denotes NSW Junior