With the 2012 Holden Netball Quad Series finishing up last Thursday with wins to New Zealand and England, it’s time for the netball community to prepare for the World Netball Series with the brand new Fast5 competition.
NSW Swifts April Letton and Amorette Wild, along with fellow NSW juniors Verity Simmons and Kimberley Ravaillion will be making the trip with their Australian Fast5 Diamonds teammates to Auckland for the tournament, which starts this Friday.
Netball Australia today named Ravaillion as the replacement for fellow NSW junior Ashleigh Brazill, whose selection was subject to fitness, giving ‘Rav’ her first taste of senior international netball.
netballnsw.com caught up with April and Amorette before they headed across the Tasman.
Both April and Amorette have experience with the shortened form of the game having made their Australian FastNet Diamonds debut in England in 2010 and 2011 respectively. So what do they think of the further modified Fast5 competition?
“It will be really interesting taking the court with just five players on at once…it will be great test of our fitness and skill,” said Amorette.
“Fast5 brings a whole new aspect to thinking about netball,” added April.
“As a player you have to think outside the box, especially with the new points system and power plays…as a defender we will be told to push the shooter towards the post because a goal will only be worth one point, which is the exact opposite to what we are usually told!”
Amorette and April have been training together with NSW Swifts head coach Lisa Beehag while Australian head coach Lisa Alexander was still in New Zealand for the final Quad Series fixtures. They have flown out to Auckland this week to begin training with their Fast5 teammates.
“Certainly once we begin training together as a team in New Zealand we will have a good indication of how we will go,” Amorette says.
“We will have to get used to changing our process of thinking about how to play the game…but we have a really great mix of youth and experience in our Australian side so I’m sure we will pick it up quickly.”
When announcing her Fast5 Diamonds team, Alexander said she had an eye on the 2014 Commonwealth Games when selecting her youthful outfit. How does that sit with the two girls?
“When you put on that netball dress, you are always looking to perform to your best ability,” April said.
“There is that extra pressure when you put on the green and gold to represent your country…every time you play for Australia it feels like a selection trial – you are constantly being judged on your performance and you want to do your best so you get picked for the next game.”
Stay tuned to netballnsw.com for updates on the Australian Fast5 Diamonds progress through the World Netball Series competition over this weekend.
Australian Fast5 Diamonds
Shae Bolton (West Coast Fever)
Chanel Gomes (West Coast Fever)
Karyn Howarth (Melbourne Vixens)
April Letton* (NSW Swifts)
Elissa Macleod (Melbourne Vixens)
Kimberley Ravaillion* (Queensland Firebirds)
Verity Simmons* (West Coast Fever)
Kate Shimmin (Adelaide Thunderbirds)
Caitlin Thwaites (Central Pulse)
Amorette Wild* (NSW Swifts)
*denotes NSW junior