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Netball - 07. July 2015.

Netball News from around the Globe by Rona Hunnisett



With the start of the Netball World Cup in Sydney less than a month away, participating countries have been confirming their line ups and their warm up programmes over the past week.


28 year old Suzy Drane will lead Wales in the competition, and with 66 international caps is the most experienced player in the Welsh line up.  Defender Rosie Pretorius will act as vice captain, while Chelsea Lewis, Nic James and Stephanie Williams bring experience of the previous World Championships in Singapore.  The full Welsh squad, to be coached by Trish Wilcox is:  Suzy Drane (capt), Rosie Pretorius (vice capt), Sara Bell, Bethan Dyke, Nic James, Kyra Jones, Lateisha Kidner, Chelsea Lewis, Kelly Morgan, Georgia Rowe, Emma Thomas, Stephanie Williams.  However, there is no room in the squad for dual international Nia Jones, who has announced she will be joining football side Reading in the Women’s Superleague after being overlooked for a World Cup place.  Wales host England in Merthyr tomorrow night before leaving for a pre-WorldCup holding camp in Tasmania, where they will play warm up matches against the Australian Centre of Excellence, Scotland and Tassie Spirit.


 Netball Jamaica have named the 12 Sunshine Girls who will be travelling to Sydney as they look to build on their bronze medal winning exploits of Glasgow 2014.  Lead by captain, Nicole Aiken-Pinnock, and vice-captain, Paula Thompson, the remainder of the squad will comprise Romelda Aiken (2015 ANZ Championship Winner with the Queensland Firebirds and Australian Conference Most Valuable Player), Shanice Beckford, Kadie-Ann Dehaney, Nicole Dixon, Stacian Facey, Jhaniele Fowler-Reid (2015 ANZ Championship New Zealand Conference Most Valuable Player), Anna Kay Griffiths, Sasher-Gaye Henry, Khadijah Williams and Vangelee Williams.


Scotland’s most capped player Lesley MacDonald has been recalled to the Scottish Thistles squad, after announcing her international retirement last September.  MacDonald, who has 127 international caps, is one of 11 players returning from the Thistles side which took part in Glasgow 2014.  The only debutante is 18 year old Bethany Sutherland, who has previously represented her country at U17 and U21 level, as well as in the Netball Europe competition earlier this year.  The full Scottish line up is Hayley Mulheron (capt), Claire Brownie (vice capt), Rachel Forbes, Lynsey Gallagher, Lesley MacDonald, June McNeill, Fiona Moore-McGrath, Samantha Murphy, Jo Pettit, Gemma Sole, Fiona Themann, Bethany Sutherland.  Scotland opened their pre-tournament preparation with a 67-16 loss to England last night, before leaving for Tasmania for a training camp.  Tracey Neville’s English line up was too strong for the Scots to handle, with several players returning to the side following the conclusion of the ANZ Championships season. 


After nine successive losses to World Champions Australia, New Zealand’s selectors have chosen to make sweeping changes to the Silver Ferns squad which will travel to Sydney in the hope of overturning recent results between the two nations.  Leana de Bruin and Jodi Brown are the only faces remaining from the World Cup winning New Zealand side of 2003, while there is no place for experienced stars Cathrine Latu, Liana Leota and Joline Henry in the 12 player squad announced by coach Waimarana Taumaunu this week.   Six players make their world championships debut, while the team will be captained by Casey Kopua, marking her successful return from a horrific knee injury less than a year ago.  The full Silver Ferns line up is:  Jodi Brown, Kayla Cullen, Leana de Bruin, Shannon Francois, Katrina Grant, Phoenix Karaka, Casey Kopua, Laura Langman, Bailey Mes, Malia Paseka, Grace Rasmussen and Maria Tutaia.


Following their recent three match test series against England, and participation in the Netball Europe Open Championships in Belfast, Trinidad & Tobago have this week named their line up for the World Cup.  The 12 player Calypso Girls squad is:  Amanda Cameron, Kielle Connelly, Joelisa Cooper, Kembra Duncan, Candice Guerero, Onella Jack, Rhonda John Davis, Tricia Liverpool, Kalifa McCollin, Afeisha Noel, Daystar Swift, Samantha Wallace.  The side faces a tough opening fixture, against reigning champions Australia on 7 August. 


Zimbabwe beat rivals Zambia 51-49 in Botswana to take the title in the five nation African competition this week, after the African Netball Championships were moved from Namibia at short notice.  Tanzania, the highest ranked team in the competition, failed to win any games, while the top three African sides (Malawi, South Africa and Uganda) chose not to take part in the tournament.  Swaziland, the lowest ranked team, took an unexpected third place in the competition. 


Sydney will certainly mark the end of one brilliant international career, with the news that Julie Corletto is set to retire from elite netball at the conclusion of the World Cup competition.  Corletto, who won gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and already has two gold medals from World Cups in Singapore and Auckland, has 101 appearances in the ANZ Championships, and was the winner of the Liz Ellis Diamond (Netball Australia’s most prestigious playing award) in 2009.  Ultimately, Corletto hopes to pursue a career in coaching, but plans to accompany husband Daryl to the UK in October, after he signed with British Basketball League team the Plymouth Raiders for the upcoming season.

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