15/04/2024

Liz Watson to lead the Australian Diamonds. (Photo: Australian Diamonds)

The Australian Diamonds have announced that Liz Watson will take the reigns as the Captain of the Diamonds from outgoing captain Caitlin Bassett.

Liz Watson has been announced as Captain of the Australian Diamonds taking the reigns for outgoing captain Caitlin Bassett.

Watson made her Australian Diamonds debut in 2016 in Liverpool a part of the Diamonds tour of England then two years later was awarded one of Australian Netball’s highest honour in the Liz Ellis Diamond.

After leading the team for three of the games in the Constellation Cup Watson was announced today as the 15th captain of the Diamonds

“It has been pretty special,” Watson said.

“I feel like I want to get out there and run around right now but it is such an honour when I found out from Stacey on Monday, I was quite emotional and it means so much to me.

“I’m so passionate about this team and this sport and I think we have such a unique special group and to be able to  alongside Steph lead this group to what is an exciting couple of years ahead, it’s pretty special and that’s probably the overall feeling.”

After a Super Netball Season on the sidelines, Watson will take lots of learnings out of her experiences on the coaching panel with the Melbourne Vixens.

“It was an honour to still go away with the Vixens and be a part of the coaching panel and learn from the sidelines.

“It’s definitely something I want to improve in my game is change things out on court in real-time and not waiting for the opportunity on the sidelines to do that.

“Obviously at international level, we don’t have time outs so things have to change really well which I know is something that Steph [Wood] is really good at so I’m sure we’ll complement each other there in that aspect but it’s been nice to take a step back and see how a team operates from the sidelines.

“How the coaching staff and the support staff operate a bit more in-depth as well and I’m sure I’ve defiantly learnt a lot from that experience.”

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While having the experience of leading the team out in the Constellation Cup it was getting the nod from her teammates that meant the most to her.

“The Constellation Cup was a great experience something I absolutely loved but back in Noosa we started the process of our leadership qualities and where we see this group going and for me, that was an awesome opportunity.

“I loved that I had the backing from Stacey to go out there and have the opportunity to captain but for me, it was coming from the team was something I found really important and valuable.

“To have them back me and have their trust and belief in my leadership was probably what meant the most to me in this process, awesome experience but something I’m still in shock too.”

Liz Watson alongside Vice-Captain Steph Wood. (Photo: Supplied)

Diamonds Coach Stacey Marinkovich said that the process that first started back in Noosa when Marinkovich got appointed, which lead to the appointment of Watson and Vice-Captain Steph Wood.

“It’s been quite a lengthy process when we came together when I was appointed in Noosa we started to refine the culture and behaviours and I guess the vision to the Diamonds in what we wanted to do as a collective,” Marinkovich said.

“What we’ve been able to do is understand what the Diamonds Squad values in leadership and the qualities in what they want to see in the people taking ownership in those positions.

“From there, there was a nomination process that came from the playing group so the strengths in voice from the entire squad was heard and then we had a selection panel.

“In terms of understanding that leading the Diamonds is all-encompassing there is obviously the performance on the court but you’re also representing Netball Australia and you’re also representing the sports as an entirety.

“We had Kelly the CEO of Netball Australia and then we had Liz Ellis former captain of the Diamonds on the interview panel.

“It was a very relaxed environment, it was to understand the players as people first and we have that as a really strong attribute across the squad and then to understand what their leadership style was so we could certainly put some support around them to be able to enable them to bring that to the group but then also to sort of to understand where we need to provide support and development opportunities.

“Our cupboard is bare in terms of trophies and it’s very clear that we’ve got a role to play and a responsibility to get them back.”

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