Laura Geitz to captain in Sydney championships
ALLORA goalkeeper Laura Geitz will captain the Australian Diamonds at world championships level for the first time in Sydney in August.
The team was announced in a ceremony at the Sydney Opera House this morning three days after Geitz captained the Queensland Firebirds to their second ANZ Championship Grand Final victory.
Firebirds trio Geitz, Kim Ravaillion and Bec Bulley are in the team for the world championships.
Geitz, 27, and Ravaillion, 21 were both part of the 2014 Commonwealth Games campaign that ended the country's 12-year Commonwealth Games gold medal drought. Geitz, who went to Allora State School and The Scots PGC College, was the captain.
Gabi Simpson, Clare McMeniman and Gretel Tippett were all part of the Australian Diamonds squad in contention for a green and gold dress but selectors named an experienced and versatile team for the World Cup with seven players returning from the side that won the title four years ago.
McMeniman, who went to primary school at Warwick West State School, made a successful comeback to national netball last year which led to her making her debut in the Australian Diamonds team in Test netball.
The squad of 18 has been reduced to 12 for the world championships and she is one of the unlucky ones who won't play unless there is an injury and another player is called up.
Geitz, the Allora born golden girl of netball with 53 test caps already under her belt, will lead the Diamonds for the first time at a World Cup.
"This week has been the best experience of my career," she said.
"Winning the ANZ Championship with those girls on Sunday was one of the most special moments of my career but then to head to Sydney with Kim and Bec and be able to share Diamonds selection with them just adds to how special these last few days have been," Geitz said.
Bulley will hit the court for the Diamonds for the first time at a World Cup but has been one of the longest serving members of the Diamonds squad.
With 38 tests under her belt Bulley made her debut in the green and gold dress in September 2008 in Auckland in a test match against Silver Ferns after being named in the Australian squad in 2005.
Currently with 18 test caps to her name, Ravallion, at the age of 20 made history in 2013, being the first person to play for Australia before playing one minute in the ANZ Championship.
"I signed for the Firebirds for the 2013 season, my first ANZ Championship contract ever, then headed to England to play in my first test series in January," Ravaillion said.