Thwaites eyes Commonwealth Games gold

Caitlin Thwaites. Picture: Netball Australia/David Callow

Caitlin Thwaites. Picture: Netball Australia/David Callow

BENDIGO netballer Caitlin Thwaites is confident Australia can snap a 12-year Commonwealth Games gold medal drought.

One week out from the Games in Glasgow, Thwaites said the Diamonds have worked hard to ensure they are prepared physically and mentally for the tournament.

“The level of netball that will be played in Glasgow will be a step up to what we are used to,” Thwaites said.

“The quality is a step up from the ANZ Championship, it is exciting, we are all ready to go.

“It will be a challenge but we are up for it.”

The 27-year-old said she had been working on analysing the possible opponents she might face in Glasgow.

“Tactics and communication between the players will play a huge part in how we go at the Games,” she said.

“We have really gelled together as a team.

“In the lead up to the games we have really worked on our game and having the right combinations because when we have the ball making those split second decisions is important.”

Fellow central Victorian netballer Julie Corletto is also in the Diamonds team.

The Kerang defender missed the last Commonwealth Games because of injury.

Rebecca Bulley, who missed out on the Games squad, is travelling with the Diamonds team as a training partner.

Thwaites said the Australians would face some tough opposition at the Commonwealth Games with England and New Zealand also selecting strong squads.

The Trans-Tasman rivals have won the past two gold medal matches against Australia.

“England will be tough, they beat us in an international series last year,” the Diamonds shooter said.

“We have to be prepared for anyone.

“We are eying off that gold medal.”

Thwaites said the team was a part of a camp at the Australian Institute of Sport earlier this month.

 “It was a solid week,” she said.

“We tried to simulate what it would be like in Glasgow.

“We have early games, some at nine in the morning, so we practiced our routine.”

The Australian team is currently in Manchester for another training camp.

Head coach Lisa Alexander said the time spent in England would be vital to her team’s Commonwealth Games success.

“The Commonwealth Games is a physical and mental marathon so we’ve come to Manchester to prepare ourselves by getting settled and into routines early before we arrive in the athletes’ village in Glasgow,” she said.

“It’s a pretty stable group, the majority of us have been together for the last 12 months, so this week will just be about tweaking a few things.”

The team will travel to Glasgow on Sunday ahead of the opening ceremony on Wednesday.

The Diamonds’ first game is against Wales on July 24. 

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