There may be a four week break in Suncorp Super Netball, but the netball excitement is about to be supersized with the return of the Netball World Cup.
It’s been four years in the making but the 2019 Netball World Cup countdown is drawing closer, with the Samsung Aussie Diamonds finalising their preparations in Manchester this week.
With the tournament to be held in Liverpool, in the United Kingdom, for once it may not be the Diamonds that are going in favourites.
Off the back of a Commonwealth Games upset win and a home court advantage, the pressure may very well be sitting with the England Roses.
Among the 16 teams competing, three GIANTS will be playing with their respective countries.
GIANTS shooter Caitlin Bassett will be leading the Aussies, with fellow GIANTS teammate Jamie-Lee Price donning the green and gold at her first Netball World Cup.
Liverpool will be Price’s first major international competition, after making her Diamonds debut during the 2018 Constellation Cup against the Silver Ferns.
Price’s GIANTS Captain and former Diamonds player Kim Green is excited to see her young team mate at her first World Cup.
“She’s worked hard,” said Green.
“People might not actually know, but she was given the opportunity to play for the Silver Ferns about four years ago, but she turned that down.
“She said she wanted to play for Australia, I’ve always wanted to play for Australia. I don’t want to take the easy route, I want to work hard and show that I’m good enough.
“So she moved back to Sydney and signed with the GIANTS. She put in the hardwork, changed her style of defence and got her body in great shape to be eligible for this team.”
The 2019 season has seen Bassett play alongside her 2015 World Cup teammate Green on a weekly basis.
When previewing the GIANTS involvement in the upcoming Netball World Cup, Green described her as a natural leader.
“I have a good feeling about Bass, I think she’ll regain her groove over there,” said Green.
“She really stands up at the international level.”
“She stands up and nails those shots and that’s something she does for the Diamonds game in and game out.”
GIANTS goal attack Jo Harten will be on home soil in this competition, as she represents her home nation in the Roses side.
She’ll be reunited with former GIANTS player Serena Guthrie.
“They’ll be like duck to water” Green said with a grin.
“They are naturally drawn to each other on the court and play some great netball together.”
GIANTS Netball Head Coach Julie Fitzgerald is making the trip over and said she can’t wait to see her three girls, her former players and the competition.
“I just can’t wait to get over there – there has never been a closer international competition ever,” said Fitzgerald.
“England will go in favourites. Australia, you can never write them off.
“New Zealand will be better. We don’t even know what Jamaica really looks like. South Africa are improving every day.
“There’s a lot to be excited about.”
The Netball World Cup begins on the 12th July and will run through to the 21st July.
All Australian Diamonds matches will be broadcast live on Nine’s Wide World of Sport and every match of the tournament on 9Now.
GIANTS Media will wrap up each day of the competition which features one of our players so keep checking in for the very latest.