Simmons gets national call-up
GRAFTON netball star Verity Simmons has been selected to represent Australia in the Fastnet World Netball Series in Liverpool, England, next month.
The recently signed West Coast Fever player will join a squad of 12 players in the FastNet competition, which is to netball what Twenty20 is to cricket. FastNet first entered netball's international calendar in 2009 and brings together the top six nations in the world to compete in a quicker, modified version of netball that includes innovative rule changes such as rolling substitutions, shooting from outside the goal circle and power plays.
While FastNet games are not considered Test caps, the honour bestowed upon Simmons is a considerable step towards that goal.
New Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander selected a mix of experience and youth to represent Australia at the Series which will be held at the Echo Arena, Liverpool from November 25-27.
Alexander said her team represented a good balance of young players who represent the future of Australian netball, and some more experienced athletes to guide them along the way.
"It's a great mix of youth and experienced players, including previous Diamonds representatives Bianca Chatfield and Susan Pratley who will provide a great level of experience to assist and support our younger players," she said.
"It's also a good opportunity to give younger players like Verity a chance to get a taste of international netball."
The team, known as the Australian FastNet Diamonds, will attend a camp in Melbourne from November 17 before departing for England on November 20.
Team leaders will be appointed at the camp.
Australia finished fourth at the 2010 World Netball Series, just missing a podium position after falling short by only one goal in both their final matches.