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Diamonds set for transition after WC win

  • Diamonds set for transition after WC win

With a third consecutive Netball World Cup under their belts, the Diamonds are ready to look to the future and attempt to build a dynasty.

Coach Lisa Alexander will soon turn her attention to working out who will stay in the Australian national team and who will go, as the next four-year cycle starts and October's Constellation Cup looms.

A transition is likely imminent, with defender Julie Corletto the first to bid farewell to elite netball after three world title wins.

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There will be others, though Alexander joked she would allow her players to enjoy the win for a week or so before sitting down with them to ask the hard questions.

Speculation has surrounded the future of captain Laura Geitz, who was non-committal following the Diamonds' World Cup final win over the Silver Ferns in Sydney.

"Today was just about today. I haven't made that decision," Geitz said.

"This superstar (Corletto) going, it's hard to imagine playing Diamonds without her.

"But there's so many amazing athletes coming through ... I think people say you know when it's right and I feel like I need to give what I have to the sport.

"We'll go out and enjoy tonight and whatever will be will be."

Whoever goes, the depth of the Australian outfit has ensured talent is waiting in the wings.

Sharni Layton, a star goal keeper, has spent the past 10 days learning the ropes of goal defence as the injury-prone Corletto continued a heavily managed workload.

Also brilliant was 22-year-old Paige Hadley, the bolter selection to plug the midcourt gap left by the injured Madi Robinson.

The squad's youngest player Kim Ravaillion is already an exceptional and invaluable presence at centre, while shooter Caitlin Thwaites showed she can not only nail mid-range shots but also move swiftly in the circle.

Alexander has already flagged the potential, and what it could mean for Australian netball.

But she also carefully acknowledged the development of the lower-ranked sides, whose increased exposure are closing the gap on the top four despite the ongoing funding issues.

"We'll do our best to do create a dynasty, but you've got to respect your opponents," Alexander said.

"I think this World Cup has shown how competitive, particularly the top four, are.

"But it also showed that Malawi, South Africa, those teams are pushing now.

"And the African teams are coming through as well.

"We just can't wait for that to happen, and I think it's really important for our sport moving forward."

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