Commonwealth Games 2022: Which three shooters miss out on ticket to Birmingham

A RISING star who has made every post a winner since bursting on to the Super Netball scene just six weeks ago, or a player who has been in the Diamonds program for the past two years but played just three Tests?

These are the meaty decisions facing Diamonds selectors as they whittle their squad of 18 named last week down to the 12 players that will represent Australia at the Commonwealth Games from July.

In getting to that final number, more cuts will be made from the shooting group than in any other position on court.

Seven goalers were named in coach Stacey Marinkovich’s squad but two – Gretel Bueta and Diamonds vice-captain Steph Wood – are a lock.

So five players are vying for just two places on the plane to Birmingham.

Of the seven shooters named, all but Donnell Wallam can play across both goal shooter and goal attack.

The biggest question for selectors is do they want a holding shooter in the team? If the answer is yes, either Wallam or Sophie Garbin has to be named, although Garbin has showed since her move to Collingwood she can wear the GA bib and be effective as well.

The Diamonds won the Quad Series playing predominantly a moving circle, with Garbin hitting the court against South Africa and in the preliminary against England and showing her versatility as both a moving and dominant holding shooter.
Cara Koenen also has the ability to play as a holding goal shooter but it is certainly not her biggest strength, with her lightning quick drives along the baseline in particular bamboozling some of the best defenders in the world.
One thing is certain though, the Diamonds won’t just bring out a carbon copy of the plays that won them the Quad Series in London in January.

Coach Stacey Marinkovich knows they have to keep evolving. Whether that involves a change in personnel is the big question for selectors.
Arguably the form goaler in world netball at the moment, Bueta can play at either goal shooter or goal attack and her ability to switch between the two seamlessly causes headaches for opposition defenders and coaches.
Named player of the tournament at the Quad Series in January, Bueta was outstanding in the final against defending Commonwealth champions England while playing at goal shooter as the Diamonds employed a moving circle.
Also ripped the Silver Ferns apart in the preliminaries playing in both positions in the circle.

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