Diamonds don't need to change their game too much: Bassett
NETBALL: Australian captain and Sunshine Coaster Caitlin Bassett says the Diamonds barely need to change their ways leading up to the World Cup, despite a shock defeat to England in the Commonwealth Games.
A 17-strong national squad was on Sunday named for the Quad Series and Constellation Cup later this year, with the World Cup looming next year.
And there are keen eyes on the side following their upset loss to the Roses on the Gold Coast in April.
But Bassett said they don't need to change too much.
"You can't throw the baby out with the bathwater as the old saying goes,” she said.
"I think there was plenty of good stuff (at the Gold Coast).
"Our Commonwealth Games campaign was (still) an amazing one and we had our most experienced team ever so it's just a few tweaks here and there.
"I think going forward our eyes are set on winning that gold in Liverpool.”
Australia are a traditional powerhouse, along with New Zealand, but Bassett admits the gap's closing.
"England and Jamaica and a lot of the African countries are really starting to push, which is fantastic to see and we really want it to be tight at that top end,” she said.
"I think the development of England over the last few years - and having so many internationals in our domestic league - has been amazing.”
Roses defender Geva Mentor is Bassett's team-mate at the Sunshine Coast Lightning.
"I get challenged every single training session having Geva against me ... (and) I know when I step out there I always perform better when I'm being challenged.”
The Diamonds squad features nine athletes from their Commonwealth Games campaign, including Lightning goal attack Stephanie Wood.
Sunshine Coast coach Noeline Tuarua was not surprised to see Bassett and Wood selected in the Australian list.
"They're both fantastic players in their own right, as individuals, but (they) also make a great combination,” she said.
"Steph, she is progressing and getting more court time with Lightning and that's definitely going to help her when she does take the international bib and Caitlin is the stalwart,” Tuarua said.
"She has been there, done that and continually looks to improve her game.”
While Bassett expects their game play may not change much, their roster could, with the recent retirements of Laura Geitz, Madi Robinson and Susan Pettitt.
New faces to the squad include Swifts defender Sarah Klau and centre court players Jamie-Lee Price (Giants) and Jess Anstiss (West Coast Fever).
Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games champion Renae Ingles returns to the national set-up for the first time since 2015, after coming back to club netball with the Melbourne Vixens in 2018.