Bassett named 24th Australian Captain
Via Netball Australia
West Australian Caitlin Bassett will lead the Samsung Diamonds as captain, supported by Madi Robinson and Gabi Simpson as co-vice captains.
Bassett and Robinson’s positions in the leadership group have been reaffirmed, with Simpson elevated to the group for the first time. Sharni Layton also remains in the leadership group.
The leadership group will take the Diamonds to the upcoming Netball Quad Series, Constellation Cup, January Quad Series and Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (subject to selection).
Coach Lisa Alexander and the Diamonds have worked closely with Leading Teams since 2012, in the establishment of the ‘sisters in arms’ trademark and frameworks around team culture.
“Our leadership vote doesn’t occur in isolation,” explained Alexander.
“It occurs off the back of lots of work and shared experience with the Leading Teams approach. This is a process that has been embraced and driven by the athletes, and supported by our coaching and support staff” Alexander said.
Bassett becomes the 24th Australian netballer to represent their country as captain of the National team. She is the second West Australian to lead the Australian Netball Team, following in the footsteps of fellow West Australian Jill McIntosh, who captained the side in 1982.
“The fact that it’s a team vote, gives me so much confidence,” said Bassett. “In a group that has such strong leaders, I was really humbled and honoured to be chosen from them. There is no higher honour than being chosen by your teammates,” she said.
The goal shooter is excited by the prospect of growth over the next twelve months, through her leadership role. “The thing I am most looking forward to is growing. I want to grow with the team and to grow more leaders within the team,” Bassett explained.
“It’s an exciting period for the Diamonds, as we have so many fresh faces, all challenging for a place in the team ahead of a big two years with the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and Netball World Cup LIVERPOOL 2019.”
With the Netball Quad Series commencing next Saturday in Brisbane, and Gold Coast 2018 on the horizon, the leadership group will play an important role on the journey to a home Commonwealth Games.
“It’s going to be critical to have a strong leadership group over the next 12 months,” said Lisa Alexander. “We will work closely with the leadership group ensure that we take care of all the details,” she said.
“I am really proud of the three of them,” exclaimed Alexander. “They are passionate about playing for their country, this is what drives them.”
The Samsung Diamonds open the Netball Quad Series at Brisbane Entertainment Centre against the England Roses on Saturday 26 August. Tickets available via ticketek.com.au, or watch live on Channel 9 and the Netball Live App. Check your local guide for details.
The 29-year-old is the 150th athlete to play for Australia, after making her debut on 4 October 2008 against England in Newcastle. She is a dual Netball World Cup gold medallist, and Commonwealth Games gold medallist. Bassett has 66 test appearances and set a new personal best international record on 15 October 2015, with 55 goals from 64 attempts.
Lisa Alexander on Caitlin:
“Caitlin has been with us since we’ve started the Leading Teams process, and has been a keen participant in the whole approach. She has earnt her place. She made a courageous decision to move across the country for her sport, undergoing massive change. Sunshine Coast Lightning has assisted in the further advancement of her professionalism over the past 12 months, with her journey beginning in Western Australia. Netball WA and her hometown of Perth have been a big part in the development of CBass and should be recognised as such.”
The 29-year-old is the 152nd athlete to play for Australia, debuting on 14 February 2010 against Scotland in Glasgow. The midcourter claimed a Commonwealth Games gold medal in 2014. Robinson missed the majority of the 2015 season, including the Netball World Cup, after rupturing her ACL. The midcourter made her return to elite netball and the Diamonds in 2016. She is the only Australian player to have earnt two Liz Ellis Diamonds – Australian netball’s highest accolade. In 2017 she captained the newly formed Collingwood Magpies to their maiden Suncorp Super Netball finals berth.
Lisa Alexander on Madi:
“The appointment is an outstanding achievement for Madi, who has been a part of this group since I took over the Diamonds in 2011. Her performance at the 2014 Commonwealth Games showed her potential and her ability to get the job done as a Diamond. She’s had a tough time missing Netball World Cup SYDNEY, due to her injury, and coming back from that. I’m really excited about what she is going to bring to the team in the next 12 months. I think she has really learnt a lot about leadership in this period. It’s been a challenging year but she continues to grow as a person.
The youngest in the leadership group at 24 years of age, Simpson is the 164th athlete to represent Australia. She made her test debut on 20 October 2015 against New Zealand in Christchurch, and is yet to feature in a Commonwealth Games or Netball World Cup. Simpson was named Liz Ellis Diamond winner at the 2017 Australian Netball Awards, netball’s highest accolade, taking into consideration her recent national league and international performances. She was named captain of the Queensland Firebirds in 2017, taking on her first leadership role at national league level.
Lisa Alexander on Gabi:
“I remember Gabi from her days at the Australian Institute of Sport, as a residential athlete. She was always going to be great, she was a prodigious talent back then, at a young age. As a physiotherapy student, she has a very big load on her, but she manages herself quite well. Being captain this year for the first time with the Firebirds, I believe that she really learnt a lot. I think she’s really toughened up as a person and understand that there is light and shade in what you do as a leader. She has grown, whilst managing being able to perform and take on the leadership at the Firebirds, particularly during the second half of the season. It was of no surprise to me that she was so well supported by all the squad. She leads by example in how she approaches her training.”