15/04/2024

The upcoming series between the Diamonds and Roses as been cancelled. (Photo: Australian Diamonds)

The Australian Diamonds squad for 2022 will travel to Birmingham to play in the Commonwealth Games. The Inner Sanctum takes a look at the squad's good news stories, the hard-luck stories, and the decisions behind selections.

The Australian Diamonds squad for 2022 will travel to Birmingham to play in the Commonwealth Games as well as any quad series games this season.

The Diamonds’ head coach Stacey Marinkovich, as well as Anne Sargeant and Michelle Wilkins, selected the squad of 12 players, which was full of Suncorp Super Netball talent.

The Inner Sanctum has analysed the squad for the good news stories, the hard-luck stories, and the decisions behind selections.

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Liz Watson will captain the Diamonds alongside experienced attacker Steph Wood who has been named as the vice-captain for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Included in the squad is a stacked midcourt to accompany Watson in her Vixens’ co-captain, Kate Moloney, Collingwood’s co-captain Ash Brazill and Swifts co-captain Paige Hadley.

In the defensive line, West Coast Fever defensive duo Sunday Aryang and Courtney Bruce were included in the squad as well as Swifts’ goalkeeper Sarah Klau and the most capped player for Australia in the squad, Jo Weston.

Aryang would have been picked for her defensive combination with Bruce but also due to her agility and leap which have been her strong suit along with her massive growth in the game in the last twelve months.

Sunshine Coast Lightning’s attacking duo Wood and Cara Koenen were both named in the squad to reward their efforts to form an Australian attacking combo in the SSN. Returning this season from an ACL injury, Melbourne Vixen Kiera Austin has completed her return to the green and gold alongside longstanding Diamond, Queensland Firebirds star Gretel Bueta.

The squad will be accompanied by three travelling reserves; experienced GIANTS midcourter Jamie-Lee Price and first-time Diamonds squad members, Queensland Firebirds pair Ruby Bakewell-Doran and Donnell Wallam.

Bakewell-Doran has been a great story through this selection process, coming into the Firebirds squad for the first time after being a training partner in 2021. She has made it through some tough times, suffering an ACL injury as a teenager coming through the netball system as well as an ankle surgery last season.

Wallam has been another highlight of this process, being parachuted into the Firebirds contracted squad after playing for the Leeds Rhinos in the Vitality Netball Superleague in 2021. She was contacted to play for the Firebirds after longstanding shooter Romelda Aitken-George announced she would not be returning this season due to pregnancy.

If Wallam does debut she will be the first Indigenous Australian to play for the Diamonds since trailblazer Sharon Finnian-White.

Bakewell-Doran and Wallam would have been selected due to the experience being present in the squad already thus two very talented but inexperienced players will travel to experience the Commonwealth Games for their first time.

Unfortunately for Hadley’s Swifts co-captain Maddy Proud, she was not selected to potentially earn her first cap after being added to the extended squad two weeks ago.

This was a sensational decision given the chemistry in the midcourt that Hadley and Proud possess as well as Proud’s form that she had shown this season.

Maddy Proud (L) and Paige Hadley (R) have re-signed with the Swifts. (Photo: NSW Swifts/Twitter)

Another hard-luck story was GIANTS star specialist wing-defence Amy Parmenter, who was a victim of the depth of Australian netball in the midcourt, in particular, her spot seemingly a toss-up between herself and Brazill. Brazill’s decision to step away from the AFLW competition last season paid dividends for Collingwood and her Diamonds hopes.

Young shooters Sophie Garbin (Collingwood Magpies) and Sophie Dwyer (GIANTS Netball) were unlucky to miss out on experienced campaigners, while Swift Maddy Turner missed out on joining her defensive partner Klau in the final squad.


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