With the Netball Quad Series set to begin in London this weekend, The Inner Sanctum is previewing players to watch out for from each of the four sides in the lead up to the opening game.
First up is the Australian Diamonds, who are playing their first Test series since the Constellation Cup in March 2021, where they lost to the New Zealand Silver Ferns 3-1. The Diamonds will be hoping for a change of fortunes as they prepare for this year’s Commonwealth Games.
The 25th captain of the Australian Diamonds missed out on the entirety of the Super Netball season with a foot injury. However, she did remain with the Melbourne Vixens squad throughout the season whilst recovering from injury.
Although she may be coming off the back of a serious injury, the 27-year-old is still one of the best players in the world, even without the match fitness under her belt. When fit, Watson led Super Netball in goal assists and was the starting wing attack of the Suncorp Super Netball Team of the Year every year from 2017-2020.
The midcourt star is reportedly in great health despite having surgery last year, meaning that we can expect her to be playing a crucial role for a side who haven’t tasted glory in their last two major tournaments.
What happens when you get a basketballer that makes the switch to netball to become a shooter? You get lightning-fast attacks with versatile layups.
Gretel Bueta missed the 2020 season through pregnancy but came back for the 2021 season less than six months after giving birth. Starting off her career as a basketballer, Bueta won the WNBL Rookie of the Year in 2011 and looked set to make a career out of basketball.
However, in 2012 she switched to netball and made her debut for the Queensland Firebirds in 2013. Since then she has gone on to revolutionise the game and is a constant threat to opponents.
Although she had a slow start to the 2021 Super Netball season for the Firebirds, she drastically improved throughout the season. The 28-year-old is a handful for any defence with her unorthodox shooting style thanks to her basketball background.
Bueta is known for her layup shooting style and is a brilliant athlete with the capability of creating chances out of nothing. The Firebirds’ goal attack has a constant flair about her whenever she is on the ball.
Defenders are often left in the dust thanks to her quick passes and incredible athletic ability. Bueta’s ability to comes with an infectious enthusiasm can lift her side to the next level.
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The 24-year-old made her debut for Australia in the Constellation Cup in 2021 off the back of some great performances for the NSW Swifts. Garbin first came onto the scene in 2017, when she broke the record for most goals in an Australian Netball League season.
She would go on to claim the MVP for that year as well before signing for the Swifts. The West Australian was named the Swifts’ Player of the Year in 2019 and 2020.
Since then the goal shooter has continued to thrive in the circle, and completed a move in the off-season to the Collingwood Magpies. Garbin has proven herself as a devastating finisher and will be needed to step up for a Diamonds side that is without veteran shooter Caitlin Bassett.
The Melbourne Vixens’ captain has already had an accolade-filled career, and will be wanting to continue her brilliant form for Australia. Moloney proved herself as an elite midcourt player in just her second season for the Vixens where she helped the side to win the 2014 premiership.
In more recent years she has also been a regular member of the Super Netball Team of the Year as a reward for her consistent performances. Moloney also claimed the Sharelle McMahon medal back-to-back in 2020 and 2021, which is awarded to the Vixens MVP for the season.
She is a natural leader and has been captain of the Vixens since 2017 whilst also captaining the Australian Fast5 team.
The 21-year-old has been a revelation for the West Coast Fever, and has deservedly been called up for the Quad Series. The defender will play a crucial role in what is an inexperienced defence for the Diamonds. Aryang possess brilliant athleticism and has a brilliant netball IQ despite her young age.
Her ability to move between either goal keeper and goal defence will be critical for the Australian Diamonds. Aryang’s defensive partnership with fellow Diamond Courtney Bruce in Super Netball will go a long way, with the pair playing together for the Fever.
Having one of the best goal keepers in the world as a defensive partner will help settle any nerves for the youngster as she looks to assert herself as a long-term option for Australia.
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