The Constellation Cup is fast approaching, with the first match set to take place on Tuesday evening. It will be the first international game for the Aussies since the 2019 constellation cup.
It’s been a different preparation for the Australian Diamonds with the girls having to go through a mandatory 14-day Quarantine in Christchurch New Zealand.
The Inner Sanctum spoke with Australian Diamonds and Melbourne Vixens defender Jo Weston about the unusual lead-up to the series and the new era for the Diamonds.
“it’s been a while between drinks especially for the Diamonds, I know the silver ferns played against England. Weston told The Inner Sanctum.
“it’s going to be an exciting new-look squad, a new coach, everything feels so fresh and exciting. It’s kind of what you need in circumstances that we’re enduring. Looking forward to it.”
Many netball fans would remember before the Suncorp Super Netball starting in August last year that the two Victorian-based teams in the Vixens and the Magpies had to undergo a 14-day quarantine in Queensland.
Compared to the quarantine that the Diamonds are in over in Christchurch, Weston said this quarantine experience is vastly different.
“it’s slightly more difficult because our time we can socialise is limited. When we were in Queensland, we were isolated within a single floor in the complex, but we could move around that floor freely after our few Covid tests”, she said.
“I feel like we don’t have that luxury. It’s slightly more structured which is understandable since we are coming through international travel but other than that it’s pretty good. We’ve got it easier than other people who come through international travel which we are very grateful for. “
This Constellation Cup marks a new era for the Australian Diamonds, with this being the first series under new coach Stacey Marinkovich and some potential debutants. But Weston says one thing will stay the same, and that’s a fierce rivalry between two of the greatest rivals in international netball.
“Australia and New Zealand in the netball scene have pretty strong and close battles so I’m expecting that in the Constellation Cup”, she said.
“We are going to see a refreshed brand of diamonds netball out there with our new coaching staff and a few debutants and it’s just that real excitement factor, given the opportunity to play international netball in itself is exciting, which I hope will translate out onto the court.”
It’s been a memorable first Diamonds series for Marinkovich and her coaching team, with the impact that COVID-19 has had on the series.
“We don’t have Sharelle (McMahon) here due to commitments, but she coached my team the Vixens remotely during the hub last year, it’s something she’s definitely used to in that respect, but that’s going to be a learning curve for all of us. Weston said.
“We are just coming into this tour with a real growth mindset and taking everything on and working collaboratively to figure out solutions and not just relying on one person out there on court to make everything happen for us.”