Geitz named in Diamonds squad

ALLORA netballer Laura Geitz is one step closer to world championship selection after being named in the Australian Diamonds team to tour Jamaica this month.

Her mother Juanita Geitz said Laura was very happy to have made the team for her first tour to Jamaica.

“After she comes home from Jamaica, she will travel with the Queensland Firebirds to Queenstown in New Zealand for the Firebirds pre-season camp,” Juanita Geitz said.

While selection in the team for Jamaica boosts Laura’s chances for the world championships in Singapore in July, Juanita said her daughter would still need a strong ANZ Championships’ performance with the Firebirds.

“She will just do the best she can,” Geitz said.

National coach Norma Plummer has included Kate Beveridge, Madison Browne and Amy Steel in the squad, the final three axed from a squad of 15 before the Commonwealth Games.

“This is a great opportunity for Amy Steel, who has been a regular presence in the squad of 15,” Plummer said.

“And it gives Madison Browne and Kate Beveridge the chance to test the waters and get some experience against the Caribbean style, which is quite different.

“Our players don’t get the opportunity to play on that style very often; this will allow them to experiment against the height and agility of the number-four team in the world.”

Plummer said that there would be another selection camp in May at the end of the ANZ Championship season when a whole new squad would be selected for the World Netball Championships, giving injured players plenty of time to regain fitness.

The Diamonds will play three tests in Jamaica on January 12, 14 and 16 as part of the preparation for their World Championship campaign in July.

The fourth-ranked Sunshine Girls will sport a full-strength outfit in Kingston including Queensland Firebirds shooter Romelda Aiken.

The three-test series will be the Diamonds first hit-out of 2011 and their first match since their gold medal extra-time defeat in the Commonwealth Games in October.

Diamonds touring team: Sharelle McMahon (captain), Natalie Von Bertouch (vice captain), Kate Beveridge, Madison Browne, Rebecca Bulley, Catherine Cox, Susan Fuhrmann, Laura Geitz, Kimberlee Green, Natalie Medhurst, Lauren Nourse and Amy Steel.

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