Gretel Bueta returns as Diamonds opt for a versatile line up

Gretel Bueta will return to the Diamonds. (Photo: Australian Diamonds)

Queensland Firebirds shooter Gretel Bueta will make her return to the green and gold after missing the Constellation Cup earlier in the year after being on maternity leave.

Although Gretel wasn’t out on court, she was still involved in the Diamonds program, helping out at the Diamonds Camp in Noosa last year.

If selected in the final twelve, it will be the first time Bueta steps out on court in the green and gold since the 2019 Constellation Cup series.

“It’s amazing,” Bueta told media on Monday.

“I got so nervous before the call from Stacey. It never gets easy waiting for that call but I’m over the moon, it’s an amazing group and being apart of it in the Noosa camp while I was pregnant with Bobby made me want it even more.”

“I’m very thankful to be in included all the way through and supported with my pregnancy and now as a mother. I think it’s going to be an awesome few months for us.”

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When selecting the side, coach Stacey Marinkovich said that versatility was one of the things kept in mind when selecting this Diamonds squad.

“I guess, obviously one reason to announce the squad earlier was to help give some players some real clarity as to what their end of season looks like so we can best prepare for the international series,” Marinkovich said.

“For us we have started to really embed a real game plan across the group, and that started when we came together back in camp in Noosa and when we were actually able to get back onto court going into the last Constellation Cup.

“There is skill sets in terms of how we want to play… the Australian way with our ball speed, our athleticism, maximising that opportunity out of court.

“The ability to work hard one on one but also have the instincts of our defenders to be able to read space and work as entire unit to gain ball. Certainly as you can see with the group it’s extremely athletic, versatile across positions as well.

“I think we need to keep being able to attack our opposition. Particularly when you go into multi day events it’s making sure that we have the versatility to keep the opposition guessing, but also being able to have some real strength in consistency in our performance.”

Bueta playing for the Firebirds this year. (Photo: Super Netball/Twitter)

The squad of 21 will be narrowed down to a squad of 12 with three emergencies that will be a part of the Diamonds environment for the upcoming series.

“So going into the next international series which is our next Constellation Cup, we will narrow it down to a 12 plus three and we’ll stay as a 12 throughout that entire international series unless there is injuries then we can use our reserve players,” Marinkovich explained.

“We’ll certainly want to keep three around because being a COVID world, one we need to make sure we can maximise our training environment between games and also the lead in. We want to make sure the understanding of the Diamonds culture and the way in which we want to play the game is understood across strength of what has been demonstrated.

“I guess in the Suncorp Super Netball. we want to make sure when there is the consistency and excellence in performance out on court that when they come into the environment they’ve been apart of what we’ve started to grow.

“We don’t have a lot of time together so you’ve got to maximise those opportunities, and that’s why it has been important to incorporate a few more to make sure we’re ready and raring for the Commonwealth Games.”

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