Fantasy Team: Diamonds All-Stars v. Ferns All-Stars

WITH the Constellation Cup around the corner Draft Central has comprised a Fantasy Team consisting of players from all eras of Australian and New Zealand netball. There is no shortage of star players that have pulled on the green and gold or black dresses respectively, making the decision to dwindle down the 10-player squad incredibly difficult.

Australian Diamonds All-Stars:

GS: Vicki Wilson
GA: Sharelle McMahon
WA: Liz Watson
C: Kim Green
WD: Renae Ingles
GD: Bianca Chatfield
GK: Laura Geitz

BENCH: Caitlin Bassett, Madi Browne, Sharni Layton

Kicking things off in goal shooter is none other than Vicki Wilson with the Diamonds star a crucial cog in the attack line-up thanks to her dominance under the post. Able to diversify her game in a heartbeat Wilson proved herself as a dominant figure that was able to shoot from directly under the post or from afar. Moving out to goal attack Sharelle McMahon got the nod in the starting position given her impressive accuracy to post, playmaking skills, spatial awareness and overall netball brain to continuously create attacking forays. Both goalers had the flexibility to swing between goal shooter and goal attack, further adding to their repertoire and making them easy selections for the Diamonds All Star squad.

Moving on to the midcourt it was a difficult decision, however it was current vice-captain Liz Watson who earned the starting position given her complete and utter domination in the wing attack position. Watson is as consistent as they come and boasts an undeniable level of endurance to outrun and outwit her opponent. Although not the quickest player on the court, her ball speed and pinpoint-precision passing is what makes her such an incredible talent and threat inside the attacking third,  plus her ability to swing into centre within the blink of an eye adds another string to her bow. Speaking of centre and Kim Green was an easy choice with the talented midcourter not afraid to throw her body on the line and contest for every single pass that came her way. A real spearhead through the centre third, Green was renowned for her impeccable passing, foot speed and overall lightning fast hands to pierce through the defensive units. In wing defence it was hard to go past the services of veteran Renae Ingles who utilised her long rangy arms and three foot marking to cause hesitation on opposition attackers. Ingles was one of the most dynamic midcourters in any team she played in, and had an insatiable thirst for intercepts – pair that with her shadowing style of defence and Ingles was hard to stop when she got going.

Down in defence, former Australian Diamonds captain Laura Geitz was a shoe-in for the starting bib in goal keeper given not only her on court leadership but so too overall domination underneath the post to nullify her opponent with her quick thinking, high netball IQ and tenacity to go out hunting at every possible opportunity. Joining her in the defensive circle is Bianca Chatfield with the defender relying on her height and read of the play to pick off intercepts and create a strong wall in defence. Chatfield was highly versatile and could move within all three defensive positions showcasing her skillset to repel the ball back down the court.

Current Australian Diamonds captain Caitlin Bassett takes out the attacking bench position with the goal shooter a real threat under the post with her strong holds, long arms and nifty footwork that enables her to be a commanding presence. The next spot goes to midcourter Madi Browne who oozes versatility and an attacking mindset to create continuous attacking plays while defender Sharni Layton rounds out the side.

New Zealand All-Stars:

GS: Irene Van Dyk
GA: Maria Folau
WA: Gina Crampton
C: Laura Langman
WD: Anna Harrison
GD: Casey Kopua
GK: Jane Watson

BENCH: Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Liana Leota, Katrina Rore

It is a no brainer that spearhead Irene Van Dyk would get the nod as the starting goal shooter position for the Ferns given her complete and utter dominance both at a domestic and international level. One of the world’s best shooters, Van Dyk oozed nothing but class, accuracy and sheer star power under the post to continuously command the ball and score with relative ease. She rarely ventured from under the post, relying on her fancy footwork and aerial strength to outmuscle her opponents. Joining her in goal attack is Maria Folau who was renowned for her long bomb shooting. A menace from anywhere in the circle, Folau did some of her best work from perimeter-edge slotting goals willy-nilly and with great accuracy.

The wing attack position goes to Gina Crampton. With speed to burn and impressive spatial awareness Crampton is able to easily hit targets inside the goal circle and dominate. The recently retired Laura Langman was handed the centre bib given her impressive athleticism and all-round netball smarts. There was nothing that Langman could not do, able to run all day and flick between her defensive and offensive mentality within the blink of an eye. Langman was a real barometer and could change the course of a game in a heartbeat thanks to her intercept ability, quick hands and circle work. Out in wing defence is Anna Harrison who had the flexibility to swing into either goal defence or goal keeper, but did some of her best work out the front patrolling the midcourters and stopping the ball from entering the defensive third credit to her long arms and all-round smothering pressure.

Defensively, the Ferns are littered with viable candidates but it would be remiss to not include former captain Casey Kopua. The talented defender was a real ball magnet who could bob up at any given time and snatch the ball out of the air such was her defensive nous and read of the play. She was an excitement machine who was not afraid of a bit of physicality under the post and was just as damaging on transition. Current Silver Fern, Jane Watson takes out the goal keeper slot with the reliable defender a real menace in the air. Not afraid to go out hunting and with an exceptional read of the play, Watson is one of those players that should never be underestimated, able to hold her own and completely flip the script on a game with her timely intercepts or deflections credit to her lightning-quick footwork.

Unlucky to not get the nod in the starting position, Ameliaranne Ekenasio is arguably one of the most unsung heroes in the current Ferns outfit. Somewhat of a quiet achiever, what Ekenasio can do with ball in hand is nothing short of impressive, able to open the court up with her silky drives or score from the outskirts of the circle. Joining her on the bench is current Pulse teammate, Katrina Rore who boasts plenty of defensive traits shown through her read of the play, quick change of direction and three-foot marking. The final player on the bench is  Liana Leota with the speedy midcourter able to light up the court with her attacking nous.


Both teams have talent scattered across the court but when it comes to defensive versatility the Ferns have the upper hand with the likes of Rore and Harrison able to alternate between circle defence and the midcourt. Although the Diamonds have a sturdy defensive unit they lack that added element of flexibility, and while the two sides’ centre-court and attack match up nicely, the Ferns would more likely get the ‘W’ if these two teams came up against one another.

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Tracy Wood
Tracy Wood
3 years ago

Only player in the Aussie team maybe Lia Ellis over Laura Geitz. Borh very good teams but go the Aussies.

3 years ago

I’m sorry but for the ferns
It’s Mene and Davu any day over Watson
And another nobrainer temepara over
Both Gina and Lang man lol
Why they always overlook the our Maori legends
Will always be the way with netball Nz