THE 2020/21 Diamonds squad has been announced with a couple of young up and coming players making the cut. Although there will be no international tests for the Diamonds this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent travel restrictions there is talk of a training camp. Draft Central takes a look at the newcomers to the squad aged under 24, their overall Suncorp Super Netball season and what they could potentially bring to the table for the Diamonds.
Jess Anstiss (West Coast Fever)
Wing defence Jess Anstiss has recaptured her 2018 form, with the midcourter finding her speed and rhythm to have a commanding presence across the court. The 23-year-old has added to her craft able to move into centre and impact the play with her cleanliness, hunt for the ball and netball smarts. She is a menace in defence and while she might not do all the fancy stuff, digs in hard to nullify her opponent’s influence such is her dogged style of defence. Anstiss is strong around circle edge to create tips and deflections a characteristic the Diamonds will value down back while her speed in transition is also another notable trait. She has racked up eight intercepts and 20 deflections throughout the season highlighting her defensive tendencies.
Kiera Austin (GIANTS Netball)
Versatility has been key to Kiera Austin’s game play in 2020 consistently switching between wing attack and goal attack. Her movement is impressive able to glide across the court or take the hard drive depending on the GIANTS needs something that will only add to the Diamonds line-up. Playing in goal attack, Austin has proven that she is not afraid to back herself from range and while her accuracy is not always there, she is able to follow it up with the rebound. Her speed off the mark is another key component of her game, able to burn off her opponent on the drive into the circle. Austin’s spatial awareness and deft touch enables her to play a dominant role in either position as she has racked up 147 goal assists with a round remaining. Applauded for her attacking efforts, Austin is just as damaging when it comes to defence thanks to her ball tracking ways collecting 12 intercepts and 25 deflections.
Sophie Garbin (NSW Swifts)
There is no denying that Sophie Garbin has proven that she has all the star power in the world to tear a game apart as shown back in Round 2 when she slotted an impressive 21 goals in a term. The typical goal shooter has proven she is more than capable of playing in goal attack however looks much more comfortable under the post, playing that holding style. Garbin is incredibly strong in the air, able to ward off defenders with her body positioning. Another key attribute of her game is her rebounding ability consistently able to track the ball in the air or off the rim. She has added range to her game when it comes to shooting, able to back herself from further out while timing to pop out at the right time is something the Diamonds will value. Although not the most accurate shooter, sitting at 74 per cent for the season, Garbin has managed 15 rebounds and 128 goals.
Kim Jenner (Queensland Firebirds)
Although there is one game left in the home and away season, Kim Jenner has been an integral player in the Firebirds defensive unit with her ball winning capabilities. Her tenacity and ability to change the course of a game in an instant is commendable and while she is still somewhat of a raw prospect will benefit from the Diamonds call-up. Her work through the midcourt to transition the ball into attack, hands over pressure and nagging style of play makes her an exciting prospect for the Diamonds. Although she is known for the odd clumsy contact, Jenner is a real threat to be reckoned with thanks to her hunt, read of the play, closing speed and never say die attitude to contest everything that comes her way. In her 13 games so far the goal defence has managed to rack up an impressive 22 intercepts, 67 deflections and 12 rebounds while also only registering a mere eight general play turnovers, a mentality the Diamonds will be hoping she brings into their camp.
Cara Koenen (Sunshine Coast Lightning)
Announcing herself as a serious Diamonds contender last year, Cara Koenen has only further blossomed in season 2020 with her impressive sidestep, dodge and timing along the baseline. Standing at 190cm her mobility is impressive, often able to swing out to that goal attack position when needed without losing her accuracy to post. She is a cool, calm and collected customer able to work her way into the match thanks to her netball nous. Koenen’s ability to shake up her game from a holding shooter to a moving one will be a handy inclusion for the Diamonds frontline given their somewhat predictability. She is strong on the rebound, reads the play well and has innate ability to sense the moment and deliver. With one round left and finals still to come for Koenen, the goal shooter has already sunk 431 goals and sits at an impressive 89 per cent highlighting her accuracy.