Lisa Alexander believes that playing traditional netball will give the
Australian FastNet Diamonds the best chance of winning its first World
Netball Series title as the side prepares for its first game against
Jamaica on Saturday morning in Liverpool, UK.
The Australians have never fared better than third place at the three
day tournament which features modified rules including rolling
substitutions, shooting from outside the circle, double point power
quarters and shorter games.
Alexander is wary of the consequences should the team be enticed into
the unfamiliar rules.
"I would prefer them to be playing normal netball," coach Alexander
"I think New Zealand showed that's probably the way to go in terms of
being able to win the tournament.
"If you play around with it a bit too much, you end up with a bit of pie
on your face so we'll keep things fairly normal in terms of the skills
and tactics of the game but we'll occasionally (shoot from outside the
circle) if it's on and need to quickly catch up or need the points."
The revolutionary tournament is designed to raise the profile of the
sport to attract new participants and fans to the sport with fast and
ferocious competition between the top six netballing nations in the
While great for spectators, the event offers Alexander an important
opportunity to test Diamonds fringe players on the international stage,
however she says the team will still take the opportunity to enjoy some
of the rule variations when appropriate.
"We might choose a couple games to trial and be innovative and that even
goes down to how we arrange our coaching bench," Alexander said.
"We will also get the opportunity to play some traditional netball
because it's important for the future of the Diamonds that we see the
squad members out there against the best; some of the teams have got
really top players so the girls will be champing at the bit to have a go
"We're still representing Australia even though it's not for Test caps.
It's still the country's FastNet team and that's really important and a
special honour for the girls playing."
The FastNet Diamonds commence their 2011 World Netball Series campaign
against the team who relegated them to fourth in last year's playoff,
Jamaica, in the opening game of the tournament on Friday 25 November at
Echo Arena in Liverpool.
photos Janos Schmidt