Australia win 55-41
Clare McMeniman has witnessed first-hand the future of Australian netball – and she likes what she’s seen on the Diamonds’ triumphant tour of England.
The Diamonds completed a 3-0 clean sweep of the Roses with a 55-41 victory in the third and final Test played in London.
McMeniman, who was acting captain for the series in the absence of good friend Laura Geitz, said there were so many positives to come from the tour with some exciting young talent given the opportunity to step up at international level.
“It was wonderful to get some new talent out there (like) Gretel Tippett and Liz Watson, who made her debut in this series – and did a mighty job,” McMeniman said.
“You would never have thought she had never played for Australia when she stepped on court (in the third Test). She did a really great job and is such a calm and composed player and well ahead of her playing years in terms of what she brings to this group.”
McMeniman is excited about where this group of young players can led the Diamonds over the next four-year circle leading up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast and the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool.
“Even in the next 12 months, the possibility of who we can have out on court is pretty incredible and we’ve seen a glimpse of that depth in these last three matches.
“But you’ve got to remember there are another group of 10 or so girls that are part of our squad itching to push into this group.
“So the possibilities are really endless. As a long as the group are working to adhere to our standards and always push for excellence and continuing to improve, it’s exciting to think what can happen.”
The 30-year-old McMeniman returns home with a 100 per cent strike rate as Australian captain, but was quick to highlight their success was the result of an overall team effort.
“It was such an exciting tour and really enjoyable tour,” McMeniman said.
“We were hoping to build across the three Tests and the girls just gel and meshed together and the combinations grew across the series.
“For me, as leader of the group and combining with CBass (Caitlin Bassett) and Sharni (Layton), to have this experience has been special.
“I’m lucky to be a part of a group that had so many open and accepting minds to the new changes and everyone adapted really beautiful. So it was an easy job for me.”
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photo Cheltenham Racecourse