Tag: rebecca bulley

Netball fantasy teams: Melbourne Kestrels All-Stars v. Melbourne Phoenix All-Stars

THERE is no denying that Victoria has been home to some A-class talent throughout the years. Prior to the inception of both the ANZ Championship and Suncorp Super Netball, the Commonwealth Bank Trophy existed in which both the Melbourne Kestrels and Phoenix were a dominant force. But as netball developed the two Melbourne teams amalgamated to form the Vixens. We take a look back at the talent to grace each team and create an all-star team.

Melbourne Kestrels:

GK: Amy Steel
GD: Rebecca Bulley
WD: Julie Corletto
C: Shelley O’Donnell
WA: Madi Browne
GA: Ashlee Howard
GS: Caitlin Thwaites

BENCH: Cynna Kydd, Chelsey Tregear, Janine Ilitch

Starting in the goal circle it is hard to go past the likes of Australian Diamond and current Melbourne Vixens goaler, Caitlin Thwaites. The rangy goal shooter can score from just about anywhere in the goal circle and has accuracy to boot. Her strength on the take and positioning under the post makes her a challenging prospect for any defender. In at goal attack is Ashlee Howard with the goal attack acknowledged for her timing and accuracy to post.

There was no shortage of options through the midcourt given the amount of talent that worked its way through the Kestrels doors. Starting at wing attack is speedster Madi Browne. The talented midcourter is renowned for her pinpoint precision with ball in hand and attacking mentality, constantly looking to deliver the ball on a silver platter to her goalers. Centre, Shelley O’Donnell is another star to play for the Kestrels. She played a whopping 84 international caps for the Diamonds and was captain for the Kestrels while also making two comebacks her 10-year stint at the club. She was a key contributor with ball in hand able to drive the attacking plays and create defensive pressure. The wing defence bib goes to Julie Corletto with the versatile defender able to clog up space and cause turnovers with her timely tips and speed.

Down in the defensive circle, retired GIANTS star Rebecca Bulley takes out the goal defence slot. Bulley is a workhorse on the court, not often known for doing the flashy things but instead recognised for her dogged style of defence and tagging abilities. She wears players down with her constant nagging and physicality while her pressure over the shot caused plenty of headaches. In at goal keeper is the forgotten about Amy Steel. Although goal defence is her preferred position the highly skilled defender showed plenty of versatility and tenacity, willing to hunt the ball and cause a turnover.

Unlucky not to get a start was goaler, Cynna Kydd who was applauded for her efforts under the post and accuracy. Former captain Chelsey Tregear also earned herself a spot on the bench along with defender Janine Ilitch.

 

Melbourne Phoenix:

GK: Bianca Chatfield
GD: Fiona Themann
WD: Renae Ingles
C: Natasha Chokljat
WA: Wendy Jacobsen
GA: Sharelle McMahon
GS: Eloise Southby

BENCH: Abby Sargent, Sarah Wall, Jo Curran

The Melbourne Phoenix were littered with stars throughout their history and the attacking third is a testament to that. Australian Diamonds duo Eloise Southby and Sharelle McMahon take out the positions under the post. Across her 132 games for the Kestrels, Southby was cool, calm and collected under the post able to hit the scoreboard effortlessly. Her connection with McMahon was effortless with the two able to rotate through the circle with ease and cause all sorts of confusion for opposition defence units. Out in goal attack, McMahon was a real playmaker able to set plays up, deliver the ball into Southby and most importantly back herself from range in the circle.

Through the midcourt vice-captain Wendy Jacobsen takes out the wing attack position. Jacobsen was a key cog through the centre court with her quick footwork, ability to drive into the space and quick delivery into the circle. Teammate Natasha Chokljat pulls on the centre bib in the Phoenix all-star team thanks to her impressive contributions across the court. Her ability to run both ways and have an influence while also controlling the tempo of the game made her an easy selection.  It is no surprise that Renae Ingles takes out the wing defence position with the fancy footed centre court player making that position her own. Her strong hands over pressure, speed off the mark and ability to disrupt the attacking flow of the opposition made her a shoe in for the all-star team.

Moving down into the defensive unit in at goal defence is Fiona Themann. The highly skilled defender and Scottish Thistles representative took everything in her stride and used her lean over the shot to put doubt in the mind of the goalers. Her ability to swing around the body of her opponent and confuse the space allowed her to create turnovers and win ball back for her side. The final spot on the starting line-up goes to none other than Bianca Chatfield, with the defensive powerhouse and co-captain of the Phoenix a mastermind down back. Her skill to read the play and go out hunting for the intercept, intimidated plenty of shooters while her cleanliness also made her a daunting prospect.

On the bench is midcourter and slick ball user, Sarah Wall while versatile defender Jo Curran also earned herself a spot thanks to her defensive pressure and three-foot marking while Abby Sargent rounds out the all-star team.

Who would win?

While both teams boast some strong line-ups the Melbourne Phoenix seem to have the upper hand when it comes to the goal circle with both Southby and McMahon on their side. the shooting duo are arguably one of Australia’s most dominant combinations while they have a wealth of talent in the defence end. Although the Kestrels have some x-factor players across the court they lack that extra layer of class that the Phoenix squad seems to have given their international experience.

Who would reign supreme in Melbourne?
Kestrels All-Stars
Phoenix All-Stars
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Netball fantasy teams: West Coast Fever All-Stars v. Adelaide Thunderbirds All-Stars

THE West Coast Fever and Adelaide Thunderbirds have a highly decorated history with both clubs boasting a long line of a-class players since their inception. Draft Central has comprised two All-Star teams filled with past and present players.

West Coast Fever:

GK: Courtney Bruce
GD: Eboni Usoro-Brown
WD: Ash Brazill
C: Shae Brown
WA: Madi Browne
GA: Nat Medhurst
GS: Caitlin Bassett

BENCH: Jhaniele Fowler, Stacey Marinkovich, Ama Agbeze

Although they have not tasted a lot of success throughout their time in both the ANZ Championship and Suncorp Super Netball, the West Coast Fever has been home to a wealth of highly talented netballers both from an Australian and international perspective. When it comes to the goal circle the Fever have been littered with stars none bigger than Australian Diamonds captain, Caitlin Bassett. The towering goal shooter really made a name for herself under the post for the Fever with her strong holds, lanky arms and volume. Her connection with teammate and fellow former Diamond Nat Medhurst was near on unstoppable. Medhurst was the real playmaker inside the attacking third with her impressive balance, vision and ability to think two steps ahead of her opponents. While she did not put up a high amount of goals it was her off the ball work that made her such a damaging player.

Moving into wing attack is Madi Browne. The speedy centre court player oozes strength and excellent ball handling skills to deliver the ball with precision to the goalers. Shae Brown was a key contributor for the Fever, spending almost ten years at the club using her energiser bunny speed to dart around the court and cause havoc. The centre proved that she could run all day and was not afraid to put in the hard yards taking the strong drive to the top of the goal circle. It is no surprise that wing defence come centre Ash Brazill gets the start in the All-Star Fever team given her sheer athleticism, speed off the mark and ability to make something out of nothing. Brazill quickly developed into one of the most influential players with her defensive pressure constantly on show and desperation to attack the ball.

Down in defence is England Roses goal defence Eboni Usoro-Brown who is renowned for her body on body pressure, physicality under the post and ability to pick off intercepts. She is light on her feet and uses her long arms to cause confusion for the feeders looking into the circle. Current captain and Diamonds keeper, Courtney Bruce takes out the goal keeper position thanks to her tenacity and impressive leap. She does not take a backwards step on the court, consistently looking to take on the physical tussle and use her quick footwork to get around the body of her opponents and force tips and turnovers.

Rounding out the team is Jamaican shooting powerhouse Jhaniele Fowler along with former England Roses captain Ama Agbeze, while coach and former midcourter Stacey Marinkovich also earned herself a spot on the All-Star team.

Adelaide Thunderbirds:

GK: Sharni Layton
GD: Mo’onia Gerrard
WD: Renae Ingles
C: Natalie Bode (nee von Bertouch)
WA: Chelsea Pitman
GA: Erin Bell
GS: Maria Folau

BENCH: Carla Borrego, Maddy Proud, Rebecca Bulley

Over the years the Adelaide Thunderbirds have added to their trophy cabinet and experienced their fair share of success. With that success has come some highly talented players filtering through the club such as former Australian goal keeper Sharni Layton. She was one of the most dynamic and physical defenders in the game, renowned for her constant niggle and innate ability to go screaming out for an intercept. Her constant movement, hands over pressure and sheer pressure was a focal point of her game much like her defensive counterpart Mo’onia Gerrard. The goal defence was strong both in the air and at ground level, hustling for every ball that came her way and not giving her opponent an inch. Gerrard used her speed off the mark to force turnovers and apply pressure.

In at wing defence is none other than Renae Ingles. Arguably one of the most profound and impactful wing defences in the competition Ingles was the heart and soul of the Thunderbirds for many years, thanks to her on-court leadership and netball nous. Her go-get it attitude, long reaching arms and innate ability to sense the moment and make something special happen was second to none. Another former captain in Natalie Bode takes out the centre position with the dynamic midcourter able to run all day and ply her trade across the court. Her precision ball placement, strength around the goal circle and impressive vision made her hard to stop when on song. While in wing attack is England Roses and current Thunderbirds co-captain Chelsea Pitman. She is a smooth mover, that boasts plenty of class with ball in hand and a high level of execution.

The goal circle is full of long bomb specialists with yet another former T’birds captain and Australian Diamonds shooter, Erin Bell taking out the goal attack position. Her high release sky-scraper shots, silky movement across the court and cool, calm temperament was a key reason to their success. She was not afraid to back herself from range and showcased her spatial awareness every time she was on court. While she only spent one season with the Thunderbirds, Maria Folau had an undeniable impact in the goal circle with the long bomb specialist well and truly living up to her name. Her effortless shooting action and accuracy to post proved to be the key for the Thunderbirds throughout the 2019 season.

On the bench and unlucky not to get a start is defender Rebecca Bulley, renowned for her tagging style of play, while former basketballer Carla Borrego and fan favourite Maddy Proud both also got the call up.

Who would win?

Although the Adelaide Thunderbirds have won more premierships than the West Coast Fever throughout history, it is hard to go past the quality talent on the list. The Fever probably have the upper hand when it comes to goalers with the likes of Fowler, Medhurst and Bassett all at their disposal. Defensively both teams are stacked but the scales tilt towards the Fever given their extra depth.

Who wins this All-Star battle of the West and South?
West Coast Fever
Adelaide Thunderbirds
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Netball fantasy teams: All-Star Queensland teams

OVER the years there have been a multitude of stars pulling on the Firebirds dress and while the Lightning are still relatively new to the netball world compared to their state rivals, Sunshine Coast have had some A-list players come through the doors. Draft Central has comprised two teams filled with past and present players to create the ultimate Queensland rivalry line-up.

Queensland Firebirds:

GK: Laura Geitz
GD: Clare McMeniman
WD: Gabi Simpson
C: Kim Ravaillion
WA: Lauren Nourse
GA: Gretel Bueta
GS: Romelda Aiken

BENCH: Nat Medhurst, Chelsea Pitman, Rebecca Bulley

The Firebirds are one of the most successful clubs in netball history winning three ANZ Premiership grand finals but have struggled to have the same influence since the inception of Suncorp Super Netball. But that has not stopped a high calibre of players from gracing the court. It is no surprise former Firebirds and Diamonds captain, Laura Geitz gets the nod at goal keeper with the highly talented defender in a league of her own. Geitz was a key contributor the Firebirds’ continued success throughout the ANZ Championship with her impressive on court leadership, tenacity and cleanliness to attack the ball. Partner in crime Clare McMeniman takes out the goal defence position thanks to her impressive timing on court, ability to read the play and tagging style of defence. The two were renowned for their immense pressure over the shot, ability to switch things up in the defensive circle and undeniable attack. Current captain, Gabi Simpson is set to pull on the wing defence position with her sheer athleticism constantly on display. Her aerial skills and speed off the mark make her a tough opponent, while her strength around the circle edge adds another element to her game play. Although she made the move to the Magpies in 2017, Kim Ravaillion was a staple in the Firebirds line-up with the gut running centre well and truly leaving her mark on the competition, helping to push her side to grand final victory in 2016. Her good vision and delivery into the circle made her just about unstoppable from anywhere on the court consistently creating something out of nothing. Ravaillion’s high level of endurance, netball smarts and defensive pressure are heer most prominent attributes. In wing attack is none other than Lauren Nourse. The former Diamonds representative possessed some real class around the circle edge with her slick hands, quick footwork and solid positioning in the attacking third.  Moving into the goal circle is arguably one of the most dynamic duos netball has seen. Dynamo Gretel Bueta takes out the goal attack position with the 191cm shooter owning the goal circle with her energy and exciting game style. Bueta is no average goaler, willing to take on the contest and use her athleticism to outmuscle opponents time again. Her combination with Romelda Aiken is second to none with the two connecting seamlessly. Aiken has been a long-standing servant of the club with her commanding height, high volume of shots and relative accuracy doing wonders for the Firebirds. Throw in her ability to get up to the high balls and consistently deliver even under pressure and Aiken was a sure start. Unlucky not to get the starting nod is current Magpies goaler Nat Medhurst with the smooth mover an integral member in the squad’s earlier success while Roses wing attack Chelsea Pitman also finds herself on the bench. Rounding out the team is Rebecca Bulley and while she only spent a short amount of time with the club had an influence on court.

 

Sunshine Coast Lightning:

GK: Geva Mentor
GD: Karla Pretorius
WD: Maddy McAuliffe
C: Laura Langman
WA: Kelsey Browne
GA: Steph Wood
GS: Caitlin Bassett

BENCH: Cara Koenen, Laura Scherian, Phumza Maweni

Despite only being around for three years the Sunshine Coast have played host to a number of international stars that have helped shape their impressive legacy. Much like their state rivals, the Lightning won back-to-back grand finals in 2017 and 2018 announcing themselves as true competitors. Although she has now departed the club, Roses star Geva Mentor was an easy choice to get the start at goal keeper. Standing at 191cm the defender oozes class and composure under pressure and is clean across the court able to manoeuvre around her opponent and force turnovers with her lanky arms. She is strong under the post and has an uncanny ability to read the play and disrupt the attacking flow. Arguably the world’s best goal defence, Karla Pretorius takes the bib thanks to her dynamic movement, go-go gadget arms, read of the play and ability to make something out of nothing. She is one of the most exciting defenders to watch with her unpredictable nature and attacking mindset constantly on display. Maddy McAuliffe pulls on the wing defence position with her defensive pressure and three-foot marking while New Zealand superstar Laura Langman takes the cake at centre. Langman is renowned for her impressive endurance, play making ability, change of direction and sheer athleticism. Her ability to sense the moment and stand up to the pressure is unfathomable consistently able to deliver the ball on a platter to the attackers while her defensive pressure to block the attacking forays makes her the complete package. Moving into wing attack is speedster Kelsey Browne and while she made the move to Collingwood her impact and influence throughout 2017 and 2018 was unquestionable. Her skill to persistently hit the circle edge, dart around the court and use her quick footwork to reposition made her hard to stop. Browne was a real pocket rocket for the Lightning connecting well with Steph Wood. The goal attack is a smooth mover, able to glide across the court and set up plays thanks to her spatial awareness and general netball nous and while she may not put up a wealth of shots, she has an uncanny ability to sense the moment and deliver. The goal shooter position goes to Diamonds captain Caitlin Bassett with the towering goaler a commanding presence under the post. Her long limbs, strong holds and consistency to put up a high volume of shots makes her a challenging prospect for opponents. On the bench is young up and coming star Cara Koenen who burst onto the scene last year with her strong movement, clean hands and accuracy to post while Laura Scherian takes out the midcourt position. Spar Proteas representative Phumza Maweni finalises the squad with her defensive pressure.

Who would win?

With star players in each position it is hard to separate both sides given the amount of game changers across the court, so it comes down to consistency, something the Firebirds line-up possesses. While the Lightning squad has more international flavour with representatives from New Zealand, England and South Africa the Firebirds boast a well-connected and experienced squad.

Who wins this All-Star battle of the Sunshine State?
Queensland Firebirds
Sunshine Coast Lightning
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Top 5 Australian defenders from 90s to now

THROUGHOUT Diamonds history there has been a host of star players rotate through both the goal defence and wing defence position. Since entering a new decade we decided to rank the top five defenders from 1990 to now. This is an opinion-based article based on the perceptions of the individual writer and how they rank against other defenders. The likes of Rebecca Bulley and Claire McMeniman were also among contention but fell just short of making it into our top five.

#1 Julie Corletto
Corletto possessed all the class and composure in the world with the talented defender able to make something out of nothing more times than not. She was a highly skilled player able to read the play and swoop in to take an impressive intercept credit to her quick feet. The former Australian Diamond and Melbourne Vixens veteran consistently showcased her versatility, able to switch between wing defence and goal defence with ease. Most importantly though was her on-court leadership, able to control the flow in defence and provide assistance down the court to transition play from one end to the other. Despite being plagued with injuries throughout her career, Corletto was a key cog in the Australian defensive unit helping her side to three consecutive World Cup championships and Commonwealth gold.

#2 Renae Ingles
Arguably one of the most influential wing defences in Diamonds history, able to run opponents off their feet and dictate the surrounding space. Ingles is renowned for her ability to shut down wing attacks with her smothering pressure, long reach and silky movement across the court. Her balance around the circle edge and general netball nous is second to none, consistently imposing herself on the contest. Throughout her career, Ingles also showcased her attacking side able to drive the ball down the court and re-offer on the transverse line to help set up any attacking forays. She was deceptively quick, able to get hands to ball time and time again. Ingles has had a decorated career winning four domestic premierships along with a Commonwealth gold medal and World Championship.

#3 Mo’onia Gerrard
The former Adelaide Thunderbirds and NSW Swifts defender left a lasting imprint on the Australian defensive line-up thanks to her physicality and ability to hunt the ball. Gerrard was not afraid to put her body on the line, often throwing herself into the contest in hope of winning the ball. She wore her opponents down consistently, pestering them with her physical presence and taunting style of game play. She played majority of her career in goal defence but highlighted her versatility switching to wing defence and providing a constant threat with her quick feet and timely tips to disrupt any attacking flow. Unlucky with injury, Gerrard missed the 2006 Commonwealth Games but played a significant role in the later World Cup wins while her domestic career was also riddled with highlights.

#4 Gabi Simpson
Simpson can change up her game play with ease but is best known for her tagging style of play, consistently wearing her competitor down and clogging up space. She uses her speed off the mark to full advantage, repetitively getting hands to ball and stopping any free-flowing play in attack. She is dynamic across the court, able to chop off errant passes while her leadership is impressive, renowned for her ability to stand up when needed. The Queensland Firebirds captain is no stranger to the big stage using her quick footwork, impressive leap and balance to get around the body of her opponent and hustle them for the ball. She is a true game changer and has proven so on multiple occasions especially domestically with back-to-back premierships in 2015-16.

#5 Ash Brazill
There is no denying that Brazill is in a league of her own, credit to her sheer athleticism and ability to find loose ball. The talented wing defence has speed to boot, able to dart around the court seamlessly while providing a constant defensive threat. She has an uncanny ability to do the unthinkable and use her read of the play to pick off cross-court passes. Brazill is not afraid of the physicality, using her Aussie rules background to full advantage and taking the game on. Although she has just burst onto the international scene, she has been plying her trade for years at the domestic level allowing her clever body position and skill to shut down players do all the talking. Her transition work down the court is a key element of her game, weaving the ball through the thirds, and while she is not renowned for her ability to shut down players, given her flashy style she is more than capable.

GIANTS Netball Season Preview

THE GIANTS once again found themselves at the top of the table once again after a dominant 2018 season, knocking off ladder leaders the Fever in the last round to claim top spot and go into the finals with a spring in their step. But unfortunately, it was not to be enough going out in straight sets. This year, led by Julie Fitzgerald the GIANTS will be aiming to go one better and claim that elusive premiership.

2018 bid farewell to some notable players for the GIANTS with the likes of veterans Rebecca Bulley and Susan Pettitt both retiring after a highly decorated career. Another big loss was England Roses representative, Serena Guthrie, who provided that spark and electricity through the midcourt with her athletic prowess, hunt for the ball and impressive ability to read the flight of the ball.

In their place the GIANTS have elevated training partner, Amy Parmenter who has shown she has that doggedness and willingness to put her body on the line to win that hard ball. One of the biggest coups was signing Australian Diamonds goal shooter, Caitlin Bassett. Standing at 193cm, the GIANTS could arguably have one of the tallest shooting combinations with Jo Harten tipped to be out in front of Basset in goal attack. Both goalers are prolific and if the combination and connection is right they could form a formidable duo that could trouble many defenders. Shooter, Kiera Austin also signed on with the GIANTS which will be a great help in the attack end given her speed.

The GIANTS have backed in their young players this season with the likes of Matilda McDonell getting the call up after fellow youngster, Teigan O’Shannassy injured herself and is set to miss the majority of the season. McDonell is an exciting prospect for GWS with her speed and defensive ability a real feature of her game. She will be paired with Sam Poolman and Kristiana Manu’a who will both have to stand up in defence if the GIANTS are a chance to continue their finals run.

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We also previewed some of the teams in detail in the return episode of the Centre Pass Podcast now hosted by Draft Central. Listen to the link below to hear about the Adelaide Thunderbirds, as well as Collingwood Magpies, NSW Swifts and Melbourne Vixens:

ANL fixture announced

THE Australian Netball League (ANL) is set to kick off on Saturday, May 4 with Netball NSW Waratahs facing off with Southern Force in the opening round of the season. The competition is set to run for seven rounds with the last game of the home and away season taking place on Sunday, June 16. Finals start two weeks later on Saturday, June 29 with the semi-finals, preliminary final and grand final all set to be played within a few days of each other making it a tight turn around for all teams involved.

In each round, the eight teams will play two games against the same opposition but on different days over the weekend, allowing players and coaches to look back and analyse the game in hope to register a win. The grand final rematch between the Tasmanian Magpies and Canberra GIANTS will take place in Round 2.

The Victorian Fury will be out for redemption after bailing out in straight sets in the finals while the Territory Storm will be hoping to build a better campaign in 2019 after only managing one win last year.

Reigning premiers, the Tasmanian Magpies will be looking to return to the top of the table and stake their dominance once again with the likes of Vanessa Augustini, Melissa Bragg, Sharni Lambden, Kelsie Rainbow and Jane Cook all returning in season 2019.

Star shooter Sam Gooden has made her way back onto the Tasmanian Magpies list after a stint with the Melbourne Vixens while the likes of former NWS Swifts captain, Abbey McCulloch will pull on the dress for their ANL counterpart the NSW Waratahs. Another big name signed for the ANL is retired defender Rebecca Bulley who is set to take on a new coaching role with the Canberra Giants. The experience defender will offer plenty of knowledge and class making her a key asset for the GIANTS.

Diamonds H2H Battle: 2000s vs 2010s

WITH the upcoming Netball World Cup looming, we decided to take a trip down memory lane and come up with our definitive Diamonds of the 2000s side and Diamonds of the 2010s (so far) side. Both sides consist of some familiar names, with players put in a specific side based on when they played the brunt of their international netball career.

The 2000s side consists of a number of household names in Australian netball, with three of Australia’s elite most-capped players taking the court. Sharelle McMahon, Liz Ellis and Cath Cox have almost 350 caps between them, more than half the amount of the entire 2010s’ starting seven. Shooters Cox and McMahon dominated in goals together for the majority of the 2000s, while Ellis, with the help of key defenders through the years, Mo’Onia Gerrard and Peta Squire, remained the stalwart backend goal keeper throughout her ten years in the side. Though Gerrard and Squire played majority of their respective careers in goal defence, both players took the court in wing defence towards the later end of their time as Diamonds. Natalie Bode stole the top spot of centre, with 76 caps to her name and captaining the side from 2010 – 2012. Lauren Nourse took the last starting position on court at wing attack. Despite only 25 caps for the Diamonds, Nourse was clinical at circle edge when paired with Bode.

More familiar names line the bench, with the likes of defenders, Bianca Chatfield, Susan Fuhrmann, Alison Broadbent and Janine Ilitch all in the side based on their respective successful stints in the Diamonds throughout the course of the 2000s. Eloise Southby-Halbish was the only other shooter to be named in the 2000s list, playing second fiddle to the dominant pairing of Cox and McMahon throughout her career and collecting 34 caps to her name.

 

Diamonds team of 2000s:

GS: Cath Cox (2002 – 2014), 108 caps
GA: Sharelle McMahon (1998 – 2011), 118 caps
WA: Lauren Nourse (2007 – 2011), 25 caps
C: Natalie Bode (nee von Bertouch) (2004 – 2013), 76 caps
WD: Peta Squire (1999-2004), 54 caps
GD: Mo’Onia Gerrard (2004 – 2013), 68 caps
GK: Liz Ellis (1993 – 2007), 122 caps

BENCH:

Bianca Chatfield (2001 – 2009), 42 caps
Eloise Southby-Halbish (1998 – 2006), 34 caps
Janine Ilitch (1995 – 2006), 51 caps
Susan Fuhrmann (2006 – 2011), 33 caps
Alison Broadbent (2001 – 2006), 28 caps

 

The Diamonds of the 2010s (so far) is just as star-studded as the 2000s list, with a number of familiar faces in the line-up; some retired but some still taking the court. Champion, Laura Geitz has been selected in goal keeper, seamlessly taking over from the likes of Ellis through the late 2000s. Joining Geitz in defence is Bec Bulley and Renae Ingles, who were both first named in the Diamonds line-up in the late 2000s, but were pivotal in the early 2010s. Taking the court in goals is speedster Nat Medhurst and current Diamonds captain, Caitlin Bassett, who is already at 90 caps for her career and showing no signs of slowing down, sitting in the top ten most capped Australian players alongside Ellis, McMahon, Cox and Medhurst. Nabbing centre and wing attack are Kim Ravaillion and Kim Green, respectively. Ravaillion applies plenty of defensive pressure throughout the centre court and her effective ball movement helps produce turnovers, while Green’s speed and grit through the midcourt and attacking third helped to boost goal shooting opportunities.

On the bench are some well-known players who just missed out on a starting position due to the number of caps they have played. Goal attack Susan Pettitt has shared the role with Medhurst and McMahon throughout the years, with Medhurst pipping her at the post this time with more caps to her name. Caitlin Thwaites has also been effective on the Diamonds stage, but with a number of dominant goalers shooting at high accuracy throughout the past 20 years, has been overshadowed on court by the likes of Cox and Bassett. Defenders Sharni Layton and Julie Corletto also dominated while on the court, narrowly missing out on a starting positions. The final player in the 2010 side is Madi Robinson who stepped up in the absence of Kim Green, with her ability to get ball to post quickly and use the angles to set up clever plays.

 

Diamonds team of 2010s:

GS: Caitlin Bassett (2008 – present), 90* caps
GA: Natalie Medhurst (2007 – 2017), 86 caps
WA: Kim Green (2008 – 2015), 74 caps
C: Kim Ravaillion (2013 – present), 57* caps
WD: Renae Ingles (nee Hallinan) (2009 – 2017), 57 caps
GD: Bec Bulley (2005 – 2015), 42 caps
GK: Laura Geitz (2008 – 2018), 71 caps

BENCH:

Sharni Layton (2009 – 2017), 46 caps
Julie Corletto (nee Prendergast) (2007 – 2015), 42 caps
Susan Pettitt (2006 – 2018), 71 caps
Caitlin Thwaites (2012 – present), 47* caps
Madi Robinson (nee Browne) (2009 – 2018), 61* caps

*At time of publish

Suncorp Super Netball movers and shakers

THE 2019 Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) series will play host to a range of different look teams with many players finding new homes across the league. The 2018 season bid farewell to many fan favourites with the likes of Laura Geitz, Rebecca Bulley and Susan Pettitt pulling on the dress for the last time. But the Magpies were hit the hardest with Sharni Layton, Shae Browne and Erin Bell all retiring.

Layton ended her career on a high racking up 37 deflections, 38 intercepts and 12 rebounds for the season capping off a highly decorated career. The former Diamonds captain played for the Magpies in the SSN but before the competitions establishment she played for the New South Wales Swifts and with the Adelaide Thunderbirds after debuting in 2004. Another big retiree was Laura Geitz who made her netball comeback after giving birth last year. Geitz led the Firebirds to three premierships and captained Australia to a host of international titles such as World Cup and Commonwealth gold.

Amongst all the retirements there was also plenty of dress swapping with the Sunshine Coast Lightning losing three big names. English goal keeper Geva Mentor has found a new home at Collingwood returning to Melbourne after a two-year stint with the Lightning. Speedster Kelsey Browne is also set to join Mentor and her sister Madi Robinson in the black and white. Lightning goal shooter and Australian captain Caitlin Bassett also departed the club signing with the GWS GIANTS. In reply to the loss of key players across the court, Lightning recruited New Zealand netball royalty, Laura Langman along with South African defender Phumza Maweni. The Lightning also picked up Ugandan shooting sensation Peace Proscovia in hope to replace Bassett.

Not only did the Magpies sign Mentor and Browne they also secured former Diamond Natalie Medhurst who had a stellar season with the Fever. Her timely passes and experience will pay dividends in the shooting circle with former Adelaide Thunderbirds goal shooter Shimona Nelson pulling on the black and white dress next season filling the absence of Caitlin Thwaites. Thwaites is set to make her highly anticipated return to the Vixens after nine years with current goal shooter, Mwai Kumwenda set for a stint on the sidelines.

In hope to rise-up the ladder the Adelaide Thunderbirds have signed a wealth of experience and talent with New Zealand long bomb specialist Maria Folau set to take the court along with England Roses defender Layla Guscoth. The Thunderbirds also managed to secure Beth Cobden, former Collingwood goal attack Cody Lange and impressive young defender Shamera Sterling.

While some teams had major changes to their line-up the likes of the Queensland Firebirds, West Coast Fever, Melbourne Vixens and NSW Swifts kept their lists relatively the same in hope to build on their impressive form.