Thwaites selected for Diamonds camp

Caitlin Thwaites’ hopes of playing for the Australian Diamonds are still alive, with the goal shooter named in the Australian selection camp for the upcoming World Netball Championships in September.Thwaites was one of 23 netballers selected for the camp, which will be cut to a squad of 12 next Monday ahead of the championships, to be held in Singapore from September 3-10.The former Girton Grammar student impressed selectors this season following her outstanding form with her New Zealand team Central Pulse.Thwaites was the key goaler for the Pulse, scoring 431 goals for the season at an accuracy of 81.3 per cent. The star goaler, who will train in Canberra for the next four days prior to selection, said she thought her move across the Tasman meant she was ineligible for Australia selection.“I’m pretty excited because up until a few weeks ago I didn’t think I was eliglible for Australian selection because I was playing with a New Zealand side,” Thwaites said.“That was one of the decisions I thought I was making when I joined the Central Pulse – that I was kissing my Australian selection chances goodbye.”Thwaites said her move from the Melbourne Vixens to the Central Pulse had proved successful, and gave her more opportunites to develop her skills.“I think that having the chance to play over there has let me learn and develop more of my game,” she said.“I think it has paid off and has obviously gotten the attention of the Australian selectors.”The goal shooter says the competition over the next four days will be tough, with a number of talented players all vying for a goaling position in the Diamonds’ squad.“I suppose there are four shooting positions up for grabs, but because I’m not like Sharelle (McMahon) and don’t usually play in goal attack, there are probably only two spots available for the goal shooter position,” she said.“There will be four or five players applying for those spots so it’s going to be pretty tough.“I’m just going to go into camp thinking anything can happen and selection will be a bonus.”It has been a change of pace for the 24-year-old since moving to Wellington, which Thwaites said was a vastly contrasting environment to netball in Australia.“It is different playing netball over in New Zealand because netball is actually the number two sport behind rugby so it’s a bit more in the public eye, especially compared to Melbourne where you had to compete with AFL,” she said.“It also has felt a little bit more relaxed, but not in a bad way. “We actually train twice a day over there, which is something I’ve never had to do before, but I think the girls know when they need to be serious as well as have a good time – so there is a good balance.”Despite having a good year with the Pulse, Thwaites said she was still undecided about where she would be playing in 2012.“I’m just going to wait it out over the next couple of weeks,” she said.“I’ll make my decision once I know what my options are.“I don’t want to commit myself too early in the piece, so if there are other interested clubs I won’t be shutting the door on those options just yet.”Former Bendigo netballer and Sydney Swifts defender Rebecca Bulley was also selected in the camp of 23.