NSW Swift April Letton will become the first NSW player to represent the Australian Fast5 Diamonds for a third year when she takes the court for the inaugural Fast5 Netball World Series tournament, being held at Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.
The young-gun defender was part of the national teams, known as the Australian FastNet Diamonds, which competed in the FastNet World Netball Series in England in 2010 and 2011.
Both April (2010-2012) and her defensive teammate Chanel Gomes (2010-2012) join Kate Beveridge (2009-2011) as the only three players to represent Australia in three Series of the modified version of the sport.
Read more when netballnsw.com caught up with NSW Swifts Amorette Wild and April Letton before they joined their teammates in Auckland to discuss the new Fast5 modified rules.
The Australian Fast5 Diamonds have been in camp for the last week preparing for three days of competition against New Zealand, England, South Africa, Malawi and Jamaica.
Head Coach Lisa Alexander announced yesterday Melbourne Vixens’ 2013 recruit Elissa Macleod will lead the 10-strong Diamonds team into the six-nation tournament starting Friday.
“It wasn’t a hard decision, but she was a little bit surprised,” Alexander said on appointing Macleod, who at 28 years old is the oldest player in the group.
“We’re very keen on her having an influence over our group. She knows what the team needs to step up to that next level and she’s an excellent role model.”
The Aussies will begin their Fast5 campaign against England today (Friday 9 November) at 3.45pm AEDT. Netball fans can catch all the Fast5 action LIVE on FOX SPORTS 2.
Coverage will commence at 2.30pm* on Friday 9th, at 11.00am on Saturday 10th, and 11.00am on Sunday 11th. Check out Foxtel Online TV Guide for more information.
Australian Fast5 Diamonds Fast Facts
- Five players will be making their World Netball Series debuts: Karyn Howarth, Elissa Macleod, Kate Shimmin, Caitlin Thwaites and NSW representative Kimberley Ravaillion;
- NSW Swift April Letton and her defence teammate Chanel Gomes will join Kate Beveridge (2009-2011) as the only players to have represented Australia at three World Netball Series;
- The average age of the 2012 Fast5 Diamonds is just under 23 years old. The oldest player is Elissa Macleod at 28 years old, while the youngest player is Kim Ravaillion at 19 years old;
- The average height of the Fast5 Diamonds is 181.1cm, with Karyn Howarth being the tallest at 192cm and Verity Simmons being the shortest at 170cm;
- Despite finishing third at the 2011 World Netball Series, Australia only lost once when they went down, 27-17, to England in the semi-finals. They were the only team to go through the round robin phase of last year’s tournament undefeated.
Australian Fast5 Diamonds Fixtures*
Friday 9 November
3.45pm AUST v England
5.15pm AUST v Malawi
7.30pm AUS v New Zealand
Saturday 10 November
3.45pm AUST v South Africa
6.00pm AUST v Jamaica
Sunday 11 November
1.15pm SEMI FINAL 1
2.00pm SEMI FINAL 2
2.45pm 5th v 6th Playoff
4.40pm BRONZE MEDAL GAME
5.30pm GOLD MEDAL GAME
*all times are AEDT. Check local guides for broadcast times.
Check out the full Fast5 Netball World Series Fixtures