Netball Australia interim chief executive Ron Steiner has pleaded with Diamonds fans to be patient following the shock Constellation Cup defeat, as Liz Ellis called for urgent changes to be made to the national side.
The Diamonds went down 3-1 in the series against the Silver Ferns earlier this month to relinquish the trans-Tasman trophy for the first time since 2012, raising serious questions around Australia’s global dominance in the sport.
The Diamonds lost the Constellation Cup to the Silver Ferns 3-1 for the first time since 2012 which has since raised serious questions around the Australia’s global dominance in the sport. Credit:Getty
But fans were left confused after Marinkovich ended up selecting just two captains – Caitlin Bassett and Liz Watson – for the four-Test series in New Zealand.
Ellis labelled the concept an embarrassment for the sport.
“The concern is that the Diamonds are getting used to losing,” Ellis told the Herald and the Age. “It’s not a matter of skill that’s the issue. It really comes down to mentally believing that you can actually stick it out. At the moment, I don’t feel like the Diamonds have that.
“The uncertainty around leadership means there’s nobody who’s been given the imprimatur to say, ‘I’m going to lead you guys out of this’,” she said. “It needs to be resolved as a matter of urgency.”
Steiner, who is leading NA on a temporary basis before a new CEO is appointed, disagreed with Ellis’ comments and said he was “not concerned at all” about the Diamonds’ losing run.
“We just have to be patient and make sure we keep the bigger picture in mind,” Steiner said. “We have a plan in place, it’s a good plan and we’ve got the right people to implement it.”
Part of that plan for Marinkovich was leaving Bassett on the bench. The former captain was left out of both the second and fourth game in the Constellation Cup, with shooting newcomers Cara Koenen and Kiera Austin selected instead.
Bassett was also left on the sidelines for most of the Super Netball season last year with her domestic club, the GWS Giants. Bassett sought a release from the club to move to New Zealand’s domestic league the ANZ Premiership.
Bassett made her debut for Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic on Saturday night in a pre-season match against the Pulse. Bassett’s side was defeated 42-62.
Giants coach Julie Fitzgerald said she did not regret allowing the star shooter to leave.
“I did what I believe was the right thing for the team and I played the team I believe was right, so no I don’t have any regrets,” she said. “I never look backwards.”
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