The countdown to netball’s night of nights, the Australian Netball Awards is on! We preview the top eight contenders for the most prestigious individual honor in the sport, the Liz Ellis Diamond.
Who will be crowed the Queen of Australian Netball for 2011?
Caitlin Bassett captured the hearts of Australian netball fans when she scored the match winning goal at the World Championships in Singapore It’s been a career defining year for the towering shooter; will her recent heroics see her crowed as the Liz Ellis Diamond winner for 2011?
At the completion 2011 ANZ Championship home and away season, Caitlin Bassett had scored more goals than any other shooter in the entire competition. She bagged 478 goals at an amazing 89 per cent strike rate and was a pillar of strength up front for her West Coast Fever team. Bassett’s domestic form was undeniable, earning her selection into her first World Championship team. Her performances in Singapore surpassed all expectations with the 192cm spearhead simply outstanding. She scored 151 goals from 155 attempts for the tournament, at an astonishing 97 per cent. But it was efforts in the final against the Silver Ferns that will go down in history and forever stand as one of the most memorable moments in Australian netball. Used as a super-sub by Coach Norma Plummer, Bassett helped turn around a 6 goal deficit at half time and with seconds left on the clock in extra time, she had the ball in her hands under the post. She held her nerve to nail the shot and win the World title for her country. The West Australian proved her Singapore brilliance was no fluke when she again performed exceptionally well in the Holden Netball Test Series. She dominated in the shooting circle in the series decider against the Kiwis, proving to be a thorn in their side yet again. Caitlin Bassett is making massive inroads in fulfilling her enormous potential and has proved this year that she is a force to be reckoned with. Caitlin Bassett has quickly become a crowd favorite whenever she hits the court; can she capped of an unforgettable year and win the Liz Ellis Diamond?
After three serious knee operations in the space of 16 months she was told that she may never play elite netball again, but Julie Corletto has defied the odds to make an inspirational comeback in 2011. Can she complete a fairytale comeback and win her second Liz Ellis Diamond?
The Julie Corletto story has been one of the most compelling journeys of 2011. After missing the 2010 Commonwealth Games team through injury, Corletto underwent radical knee surgery in an attempt to save her brilliant career. With no guarantee that she would ever step foot on the ANZ Championship or international court again, Corletto refused to give up on her dream that she had worked her entire life for. With admirable dedication, determination and an unbreakable focus, the superstar defender committed herself to an intensive rehabilitation program. In round five of this year’s ANZ Championship, Corletto did what many thought she would never do again and played her first competitive game since her operations. Her load during the season was closely monitored by the medical staff at the Melbourne Vixens but when on court, netball fans were treated with flashes of the Corletto of old. The 25 year old won back her spot in the national team for her second World Championship campaign and claimed the starting goal defence bib for the Diamonds. Widely regarded as one the best on court for Australia in the World Championship finals against New Zealand, Corletto showed outstanding character to produce some of the most stunning netball of her career. She was another major contributor during the Holden Netball Series where she was named as the vice captain for the series against England. She won the player of the match honors in the first Test against world number three but battled a heavily corked thigh mid way through the series. She soon recovered and put in a stellar effort in the series decider against the Kiwis in front of her home crowd in Melbourne. 2011 has been a remarkable year for Julie Corletto. Can one of the games purest athletes take all before her and win her second Liz Ellis Diamond?
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