In the lead up to next year’s Commonwealth Games, the cancellation of both the Constellation Cup against New Zealand and the series against England Roses series is a big loss for the Diamonds.
As the team begins a new era under coach Stacey Marinkovich, these fixtures would have been a good chance to debut players and try out new combinations.
While no one likes injuries and we certainly don’t celebrate them, they do bring some exciting chances to explore other player options.
With a few big names unable to play, there were also chances there to see what other combinations could have benefitted the Diamonds moving forward.
Diamonds caps potentially awaited Amy Parmenter, Maddy Proud, Sunday Aryang, Jess Anstiss and Kim Jenner, with Sophie Dwyer also in with a shot to step into a final team.
Having stood out in their respective SSN sides over the last season, this would have been a chance to test themselves on the international stage and showcase their skills at that level.
Maddy Turner, who was recalled after a dominant season with her Swifts circle partner Sarah Klau was set to show what they as a unit could produce against international opponents and if their partnership could be just as effective.
With Caitlin Bassett out with injury, Sophie Garbin looked to have a good opportunity to showcase her strength in the GS bib.
Previously debuting as a GA, Garbin was a little bit uncomfortable in this position against the Silver Ferns, and being able to play the GS role following on from a strong SSN performance in that position might’ve been an opportunity to show more of the form that allowed her to get the better of Courtney Bruce and Shamera Sterling in the domestic competition.
During the Constellation Cup at the beginning of the year we saw a mid court line up of Kate Moloney and the new Diamonds Captain Liz Watson front up in the starting line up each match.
With the injury to Liz, which saw her miss the entire 2021 season, an opportunity did arise for the Swifts premiership mid court of Paige Hadley and Maddy Proud (who would of also made her debut) to see if their connection could produce the same success on the international stage, and if that could of been a line up option moving forward.
It is a real shame that this won’t be the case.
Another significant one would’ve been GIANTS midcourter Jamie-Lee Price, who has previously been played predominantly as an international WD. Having distinguished herself as a Centre domestically over the course of this year, it would’ve been a good chance to see what she could bring to a different position on the international stage.
Now that this opportunity has been crushed only time will tell as to whether the Diamonds leadership are willing to take a chance on untested combinations, as well as select multiple players who have not even got a test cap by the time they step onto court for next year’s pinnacle event, the Commonwealth Games.