‘We want the world’s best’: Diamonds coach aims to keep Bassett in Australia

Diamonds coach Stacey Marinkovich is hoping to convince Caitlin Bassett to stay in Australia, after naming her in the national squad.

Marinkovich named five new players in the Constellation Cup side for January, including Sophie Garbin, Kim Jenner, Cara Koenen, Maddy Proud, returning squad member Jess Anstiss and Fever player Verity Charles.

Caitlin Bassett has had a difficult season at the Giants.Credit:Getty

Despite her appointment as Diamonds coach, Marinkovich also remains in charge of the Fever in Super Netball. Lisa Alexander raised concerns over potential conflicts of interest with the joint positions earlier this month.

Marinkovich said she was eager to keep Bassett in Australia as the Diamonds skipper weighs up a move across the Tasman.

"We want to keep players playing in Australia. We want the world's best competition," she said. "So you look for avenues to be able to make sure that we have those opportunities."

Bassett is in negotiations with the Giants over her future after a horror Super Netball season. She has received little court time as a side-effect of the super shot, which she has struggled to adapt to.

She has some decisions to make but she does have the support of Netball Australia

She is contracted until 2021 but is exploring the possibility of joining the ANZ Premiership, which does not use the super shot rule, after playing in just one game of the past four.

Bassett is one of the best shooters in the world, but her main talent is her incredible accuracy under the post, rather than from the outer portion of the goal circle. With Kiera Austin and Jo Harten the preferred shooting duo of Giants coach Julie Fitzgerald, Bassett may look to another Super Netball club.

"She still has some great qualities … she has some decisions to make but she does have the support of Netball Australia," Marinkovich said. "Obviously, we would like to see Caitlin performing and out on court but there are lots of dynamics at play within a season."

Marinkovich said she chose Bassett for the Diamonds squad as she provides experiences at the back.

"You look at the quality and what she has delivered when she was out there and she still had high shooting accuracy and a high volume of shots," she said. "Julie and I have had some good conversations. It's not my place to question how they run their team … it's actually to reach out to see whether there is a way of supporting what they are doing."

The new Diamonds coach will need to help Bassett rebuild her confidence, which is believed to have taken a hit this season.

"For CBass [Bassett] coming in … you've got to be able to separate what happens in club and what you are bringing to Diamonds," she said. "Each player has their challenges throughout the season and moments where form and confidence can waver in some part.

"She understands what she needs to do to play for the Diamonds."

The 19-man squad was selected by a panel made up of Marinkovich and national selectors Anne Sargeant and Michelle Wilkins.

"You can have a perception around how you play and a reality – it's then working out what it is that you need to improve on and doing the hard work to get there," she said.

Bassett's Giants come up against the Swifts on Saturday night, in a dead-rubber match for the final round of the regular season.

Diamonds squad 2020/2021

Jess Anstiss (Fever), Kiera Austin (GIANTS), Caitlin Bassett (GIANTS), Gretel Bueta (Firebirds), Courtney Bruce (Fever), Verity Charles (Fever), Sophie Garbin (Swifts), Paige Hadley (Swifts), Kimberley Jenner (Firebirds), Cara Koenen (Lightning), Sarah Klau (Swifts), Jamie-Lee Price (GIANTS), Maddy Proud (Swifts), Emily Mannix (Vixens), Kate Moloney (Vixens), Gabi Simpson (Firebirds), Liz Watson (Vixens), Jo Weston (Vixens), Steph Wood (Lightning)

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