Geitz to sparkle in Diamonds team

A GOLDEN year for Allora goal keeper Laura Geitz continued yesterday when she was named in the Australian Diamonds team for the World Netball Championships in Singapore on July 3-10.

A drama-packed four days in Canberra for Geitz included a trip to the doctor for three stitches in a cut lip sustained in a game between two teams from the Australian squad.

“I ran into the back of one of the girls,” Geitz said.

Yesterday, Geitz was told at a team meeting at 10.45am that she could pack her bags for two Tests in New Zealand and then the championships.

While the 11 squad players who missed the team prepared to return to their home states, Geitz and the rest of the Diamonds team headed to The Lodge for the official announcement of the team by Sports Minister Mark Arbib.

They were hosted by Tim Mathieson, partner of Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

“We didn’t see it all but The Lodge was impressive,” Geitz said.

But the visit was overshadowed by the announcement of the team for the championships which are only held every four years.

“The world championships rate at the top with the Commonwealth Games,” Geitz said.

“Today (selection) has capped off the perfect year for me,” she said.

She is one of three Firebirds player in the team but the only Queensland-born player heading to Singapore.

Geitz, Natalie Medhurst and Chelsea Pitman are in the team.

Firebirds trio Clare McMeniman, Amy Steel and Elissa Macleod also participated in the camp, but missed out on the final 12.

Geitz said yesterday that McMeniman, a former Warwick West State School student, had performed well at the camp.

“Clare played both goal defence and wing defence in the camp games,” Geitz said.

The Allora player will spend four days in Brisbane before departing for New Zealand with the Diamonds on Saturday.

She will play Tests on June 9 at Palmerston North and on June 12 in Auckland before returning home for a week as a forerunner to a five-day training camp in Hong Kong in the run-up to the championships.

Geitz was uncommitted yesterday about her hopes of being the starting goal keeper in the world championships.

“A lot of things will happen before Singapore, I can’t make that call,” she said.

During the Commonwealth Games, coach Norma Plummer used Geitz and Susan Fuhrmann at goal keeper.


TEAM: Natalie von Bertouch (Adelaide Thunderbirds) captain 61 Test caps, Catherine Cox (NSW Swifts) vice captain 84 caps, Caitlin Bassett (West Coast Fever) 4 caps, Chelsea Pitman (Queensland Firebirds) debutant; Erin Bell (Adelaide Thunderbirds) debutant, Julie Corletto (Melbourne Vixens) 20 caps, Kimberlee Green (NSW Swifts) 31 caps, Laura Geitz (Queensland Firebirds) 19 caps, Mo’onia Gerrard (NSW Swifts) 47 caps, Natalie Medhurst (Queensland Firebirds) 30 caps, Sharni Layton (Adelaide Thunderbirds) debutant, Susan Fuhrmann (West Coast Fever) 24 caps.

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