Laura Geitz in action for the Diamonds before the birth of her son.
Laura Geitz in action for the Diamonds before the birth of her son.

Geitz, Layton remain in Games mix

NETBALL: Coach Lisa Alexander says Laura Geitz and Sharni Layton "are still in the picture'' for Commonwealth Games selection as a Diamonds squad minus the two star defenders heads overseas for the first international netball series of the year.

Alexander had new mum Geitz and defender Layton, on the comeback from a long break due to exhaustion, at a training camp in Canberra last week and said both impressed.

"For Sharni to be back on court was an achievement for her. She was able to put some solid performances out there and that's a tremendous thing for her. We are very proud of her,'' said Alexander before flying out on Monday.

Sharni Layton.
Sharni Layton.

"She is in the squad and still in the (Commonwealth Games) picture.

"Laura also did very well. She got through the camp successfully and many hard matches.

"I think she convinced herself she was able to play at this level again. She had to convince herself she could do it.''

But while the pair are in the selection mix they are on the backfoot compared to teammates heading to the UK and South Africas for the January Quad series.

Laura Geitz.
Laura Geitz.
 

These 14 players have additional chances to impress selectors in matches against South Africa, England and New Zealand.

"I want to see them still improving.'' Alexander said. "It is a really challenging period but this group is up for it.''

Australia's first outings of the Quad series are against South Africa and England in the UK on Jan 21 and 23 (AEDT).

The Diamonds then head to Johannesburg to meet New Zealand on January 26.

Australian Diamonds in Quad Series: Caitlin Bassett, April Brandley, Courtney Bruce, Paige Hadley, Emily Mannix, Kate Moloney, Susan Pettitt, Kim Ravaillion, Gabi Simpson, Caitlin Thwaites, Gretel Tippett, Liz Watson, Jo Weston, Stephanie Wood.



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