Australia's Laura Geitz in action in 2015.
Australia's Laura Geitz in action in 2015. DIANNE MANSON

Diamonds coach won't rule out Geitz for Games

NETBALL: Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander says she would consider selecting Laura Geitz in her 18-woman squad for next year's Commonwealth Games, should the new mother wish to make a comeback to the sport.

On the Sunshine Coast to keep a close eye on potential Diamonds in this weekend's Queensland derby between the Sunshine Coast Lightning and Queensland Firebirds, former schoolteacher Alexander will also monitor the progress of attacking combination Steph Wood and Caitlin Bassett.

Both have impressed in their first three club games together, with Wood draining 23 goals from 25 attempts last weekend, and the towering Bassett claiming three consecutive MVP awards.

But it seems Alexander is open to the idea of another tall talent, widely considered among the best Australia has ever produced, making her comeback in time for Gold Coast 2018.

Just the second Queenslander after Vicki Wilson to play 50 Tests and captain Australia, Geitz has won world championships, Commonwealth Games gold and led the Queensland Firebirds to back-to-back trans-Tasman titles in 2015 and 2016.

"We would (consider Geitz)," Alexander said.

 

The coach of the Australian netball team, Lisa Alexander.
The coach of the Australian netball team, Lisa Alexander. PAUL MILLER

"There's no doubt about that. International experience is second to none, but at the end of the day so is current form."

The Games will be held in April next year, meaning Geitz would have limited opportunities to press her claims in Suncorp Super Netball. 

"If it got to that situation, she'd have to come in as a training partner initially and we'd monitor the situation," Alexander said.

Alexander said Netball Australia and the Diamonds were supportive of helping mothers get back into the game, citing Bec Bulley and Renae Ingles' recent returns.

"From a Diamonds perspective, we're very supportive but it takes a lot of energy and decision making from, not just Laura, but her whole family."

Alexander said she would pick her 18-player Games squad after the regular rounds and finals series, before it's cut to 12 weeks out from the Games.

Introduced at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Games, Australia has won three of the five netball championships and is currently the gold medal holder, taking it back from New Zealand, which won at Melbourne 2006 and Delhi 2010.



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