Sport

Lack of experience no concern for Diamonds coach

Shooter Caitlin Bassett will captain Australia against England. Photo: News Corp Australia
Shooter Caitlin Bassett will captain Australia against England. Photo: News Corp Australia

IT'S one of the least experienced teams Australian netball has sent into battle in recent times but Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander says it's no problem.

Only two members of the Australia squad preparing to take on England in the opener of the Quad Series on Saturday has over 50 caps in newly appointed captain Caitlin Bassett with 66 and her vice Madi Robinson with 51.

Two members of the squad have yet to make their debut in Emily Mannix and Courtney Bruce and in total the 12-strong squad has just 240 caps to its name - far less experience than rivals New Zealand, England and South Africa.

"No problem,'' said Alexander from Australian camp on the Sunshine Coast on Wednesday.

"Ignore youth at your own peril I say.

"It also makes us more unpredictable, easier to under estimate.''

Australia v England opens the Quad Series in Brisbane on Saturday with the Diamonds defeating the Roses by just one goal, 47-46, in February.

But in their 71 Test match-ups, Australia has lost only five times with their last defeat a 49-51 scoreline in London in 2013.

Alexander says her team has not forgotten the one-goal loss in February.

 

Gretel Tippett in action in the last Quad Series earlier this year. Photo: Getty Images
Gretel Tippett in action in the last Quad Series earlier this year. Photo: Getty Images

"It is in their heads,'' she said.

"But we know where our strengths lie.

"You never know if you are ready before a series but I think we are readier than we have ever been.''

QUAD SERIES AND TV TIMES

Aug. 26: 3pm Diamonds v England Roses, Brisbane. NINE.

Aug. 26: 5pm New Zealand Silver Ferns v South Africa Spar Proteas, Brisbane, 9 GEM

Aug. 30: 5.30pm New Zealand Silver Ferns v England Roses, Auckland, 9 GEM.

Aug. 30: 7.30pm Diamonds v South Africa Spar Proteas, Canberra, 9 GEM

Sep. 3: 12pm England Roses v South Africa Spar Proteas, Invercargill, 9 GEM.

Sep. 3: 2pm New Zealand Silver Ferns v Diamonds, Invercargill, NINE/9 GEM

Topics:  caitlin bassett diamonds gretel tippett lisa alexander netball

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