The three young players who just missed selection for the 2010 Commonwealth Games have been named in the Australian Diamonds squad of twelve to tour Jamaica.
Kate Beveridge, Madison Browne and Amy Steel were the final three axed from a squad of 15 before the Delhi Games. Their form at selection camp this week impressed coach Norma Plummer enough to give them a chance to show their form before World Netball Championships later this year.
“This is a great opportunity for Amy Steel, who has been a regular presence in the squad of 15, Plummer said today. “And it gives Madison Browne and Kate Beveridge the chance to test the waters and get some experience against the Caribbean style, which is quite different. “Our players don’t get the opportunity to play on that style very often; this will allow them to experiment against the height and agility of the number four team in the world.”
“This tour gives us the opportunity to expand the international experience of the squad before World Championships later this year’, Plummer said.
Plummer said that there would be another selection camp in May at the end of the ANZ Championship season when a whole new squad would be selected for the World Netball Championships, giving injured players plenty of time to regain fitness.
The Diamonds will play three Tests in Jamaica on 12, 14 and 16 January as part of the preparation for their World Championship campaign in July.
The fourth ranked Sunshine Girls will sport a full-strength outfit in Kingston including Queensland Firebirds shooting sensation Romelda Aiken.
The three-Test Series will be the Diamonds first hit-out of 2011 and their first match since their gold medal extra-time defeat in the Commonwealth Games in October.
Australian Diamonds squad to tour Jamaica
SHARELLE MCMAHON (Captain), NATALIE VON BERTOUCH (Vice Captain), KATE BEVERIDGE, MADISON BROWNE, REBECCA BULLEY, CATHERINE COX, SUSAN FUHRMANN, LAURA GEITZ, KIMBERLEE GREEN, NATALIE MEDHURST, LAUREN NOURSE, AMY STEEL
Norma Plummer (Coach), Margaret Molina (Manager), Nicole Cusack (Specialist Coach), Tom Hilton (Doctor),
Sean Mungovan (Physiotherapist), Matthew Durston (Massage Therapist) and Tara Handke (Performance
photos Janos Schmidt