15/04/2024

Diamonds are gearing up for the Constellation Cup. (Photo: Australian Diamonds/Twitter)

There is about to be a new chapter in one of netball’s biggest rivalries when the Diamonds take on the Silver Ferns for the Constellation Cup.

On the back of the Diamonds gold medal campaign at the Commonwealth Games, the side will be looking to regain the silverware with a mix of experienced and new faces. The Inner Sanctum takes a look at five Diamonds players to watch.

Amy Parmenter

Amy Parmenter is one of the handful of players that could be pulling on the green and gold dress for the first time in the Constellation Cup. With Ash Brazill unavailable for this Diamonds campaign, there’s the starting wing defence bib up for the taking.

Parmenter has been a consistent performer for GIANTS Netball in the Suncorp Super Netball for four years. She has proved on many occasions that she can shut down some of the best wing attacks in the world and stand up on the big stage.

With the 2022 Preliminary Final against the Vixens a prime example of Parmenter at her best, finishing the match with four intercepts and seven deflections and limiting the impact of star Vixen and Australian Diamonds captain Liz Watson.

Across the SSN season, Parmenter had 28 intercepts and 59 deflections for the Giants which shows that she’ll be looking to make her mark at international level.

Maddy Proud

Maddy Proud is another potential debutant for the Diamonds this tournament after a strong 2022 SSN campaign saw her elevated into the Diamonds squad late in the season.

Proud’s versatility will see her be a strong option in the midcourt for the Diamonds, being able to play both centre and wing attack. Proud can use her speed to her advantage which was on show for the Swifts this season.

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Proud is just as strong on circle edge having 364 goal assists, she also possesses that calmness when putting the ball into the shooters that will prove vital against a strong Silver Ferns defence.

While Liz Watson and Kate Moloney will more than likely be getting the starting spots, having Proud come off the bench is certainty a good option for Stacey Marinkovich to have.

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Steph Wood

Diamonds Vice Captain Steph Wood played a key role in the Diamonds Commonwealth Games campaign and will once again be a key player in the Diamonds quest to re-gain the Constellation Cup.

With Gretel Bueta withdrawing from the squad after announcing she is expecting her second child, Wood will become the most experienced player in that goal circle with 41 caps for the Diamonds.

Her netball IQ is one of the best in the game. Her ability to know when to pass the ball off or when to shoot it becoming a vital trait to have in the game, this will be important during the Constellation Cup with a strong Silver Ferns defence looking to disrupt and turnover the ball.

Steph Wood in action at the Commonwealth Games. (Photo: Aussie Diamonds/Twitter)

With fellow Lightning shooter Cara Koenen becoming a ready-made combination in tandem with Wood, they will be an exciting prospect for Diamonds fans.

Sarah Klau

Sarah Klau will be a key pillar in the sides’ defensive end across the Constellation Cup, with goal defence Jo Weston out of the squad for the Constellation Cup. Like Proud, Klau’s versatility will be important across the series as Marinkovich looks to change things up across the four-game series.

Being able to play both goal defence and goal keeper, Klau could cement herself as a starting defender during this series with Weston sitting the series out. Klau has the smarts to put herself in the right position to either force a turnover or gain possession.

Paired with Courtney Bruce, the two will have no easy task of shutting down a fierce Silver Ferns line-up but with the pairs’ strong international partnership already established and the young guns coming through the defence looks exciting. The young players looking to join her in the circle could be either Ruby Bakewell-Doran or Sunday Aryang who could be vital in shutting down the likes of Grace Nweke, Maia Wilson and Ameliaranne Ekenasio.

Sophie Garbin

Garbin joins the squad after getting the late call up to join the Constellation Cup after Bueta withdrew from the squad early this month. She was one of the two players to play in the quad series and not be selected for the Commonwealth games squad, alongside GIANTS Netball midcourter Jamie-Lee Price.

Garbin had a good quad series, despite only playing three international games where she showed she could create a strong combination with Bueta. She was able to remain calm under pressure and stand up in the big moments.

(Garbin in action at the Quad Series: Photo: Diamonds/Website)

Despite an up-and-down SSN season spending most of the season out at goal attack, Garbin will spending plenty of time under the post, playing that holding shooter role. She will rotate through with Koenen but the flexibility to have her play at goal attack to keep the Silver Ferns guessing is a tactic Marinkovich can employ.

While Koenen will likely get the start in the opening game, having Garbin able to come off the bench and make an impact is a good thing for the Diamonds to have.

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