NSW netball junior Erin Bell has today been announced as co-Captain of the Australian FAST5 Flyers, alongside Queensland Firebirds defender Clare McMeniman, for the upcoming FAST5 Netball World Series in Auckland on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 November.
Bell has played 23 Tests for Australia, making her debut in the Diamonds’ historic 2011 world championship campaign and has also been part of three ANZ Championship-winning teams, including the NSW Swifts inaugural ANZ Championship victory in 2008.
Bell and McMeniman will lead a 10-strong Flyers squad during the two-day international tournament at Auckland’s Trust Arena, which also includes three NSW juniors – Ashleigh Brazill, Gabi Simpson and Amorette Wild.
The appointment also caps off a memorable week for McMeniman after the 29-year-old made her international debut with the Diamonds last Wednesday 22 October in final game of the 2014 Real Insurance Netball Test Series against England in Canberra.
This year’s tournament will be the first time that McMeniman has represented Australia in the modified FAST5 format while Bell was part of the 2010 Australian World Netball Series team that played under Fastnet rules.
Flyers coach Jane Searle is delighted to have the experienced duo leading Australia’s campaign.
“Both Erin and Clare have experience at international level and this will be a great benefit to the young players in our group,” Searle said.
“It’s ideal that the team has a leader at either end of the court. Erin is renowned for her poise and calmness in the attack end while Clare’s strength and tenacity in defence has been a feature of her game throughout her career.
“We believe that both will complement each other in the leadership roles and provide wonderful guidance to the rest of the group. Both Clare and Erin are committed to helping the Flyers win our first Fast5 Gold Medal.”
Last year’s runners-up finish was Australia’s best ever result in the FAST5 format. The team will gather in Melbourne from Monday 3 November for a training camp before departing to New Zealand on Tuesday morning.
The Australian Fast5 Flyers will open their Fast5 Netball World Series campaign against Jamaica (11.00am AEDT) on Saturday 8 November. They will also face South Africa (1.15pm AEDT) and hosts New Zealand (5.30pm AEDT) on the opening day of competition.
On Sunday the Flyers take on Malawi (11.15am AEDT) and then England (12.45pm AEDT).
The FAST5 Netball World Series will be broadcast live on FOX SPORTS 3.
Australian FAST5 Flyers
Karyn Bailey (VIC/Melbourne Vixens)
Erin Bell (NSW/Adelaide Thunderbirds)
Kate Beveridge (WA/West Coast Fever)
Ashleigh Brazill (NSW/West Coast Fever)
Clare McMeniman (QLD/Queensland Firebirds)
Kate Moloney (VIC/Melbourne Vixens)
Kate Shimmin (SA/Adelaide Thunderbirds)
Gabi Simpson (NSW/Queensland Firebirds)
Jo Weston (VIC/Melbourne Vixens)
Amorette Wild (NSW/Queensland Firebirds)
Head Coach: Jane Searle
Assistant Coach: Jane Woodlands-Thompson
For more information on the FAST5 Netball World Series visit http://www.fast5netball.com/.