Diamonds’ ‘shock’ tactics for netball World Cup
AUSTRALIA'S ability to shock and awe with never-before-seen combinations could be key to the Diamonds winning their 12th World Cup in the UK this month.
Coach Lisa Alexander said the versatility of her Australian 12 will be the team's greatest strength at the tournament, which starts on Friday in Liverpool.
Alexander has worked overtime to ensure every player in her side excels in their preferred role but also has the ability to reinvent themselves into another position on the court to "keep things fresh''.
"It keeps other teams on their toes,'' Alexander said.
"Fitness, form and versatility. That's our strength.''
This versatility could lead to circle defenders such as April Brandley, Courtney Bruce, Jo Weston and Sarah Klau swap between goal defence and keeper in the circle or even move out onto the wing if their height is required.
Shooters such as Steph Wood and Gretel Tippett can also take on midcourt roles while centre-courters have the ability to move between wing defence, centre and wing attack.
Whether Alexander opts for some of these more extreme positional changes is anyone's guess but the long-serving coach says she does not want the Diamonds to be predictable.
"We wanted to be sure we have the ability to change things up, to show that we have variety and not always playing a style that a rival team can predict,'' Alexander said.
"We want each game to be different. I think we have been more unpredictable in the last 12 months and I think that's exciting for the game.''
Australia is chasing its 12th World Cup title - and fourth in a row - at the UK tournament.
The team goes in ranked at No.1, ahead of the hosts England, who beat the Diamonds by a goal to win the Commonwealth Games gold last year.
The Diamonds are completing their final preparations in Manchester with a series of matches before moving to Liverpool for Friday's first match against Northern Ireland.
Diamonds For the World Cup: Caitlin Bassett (captain, Giants), April Brandley (Magpies), Kelsey Browne (Magpies), Courtney Bruce (Fever), Paige Hadley (Swifts), Sarah Klau (Swifts), Caitlin Thwaites (Vixens), Gretel Tippett (Firebirds), Jamie-Lee Price (Giants), Liz Watson (vice-captain, Vixens), Jo Weston (Vixens), Steph Wood (Lightning).
July 12: v Northern Ireland, 8pm AEST
July 13: v Zimbabwe, 6pm AEST
July 14: v Sri Lanka, 12am AEST
#The remainder of the schedule will be determined by pool rankings.
TV: Channel 9 and 9NOW