Sam Poolman excited for blockbuster Newcastle netball Test

27/08/2018 Posted by admin

SHOWDOWN: England’s Beth Cobden celebrates after winning the gold medal match against Australia at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast on Sunday. Picture: AAP Image/Tracey NearmyNewcastle netballer Sam Poolman said the announcement of a hometown Test against Commonwealth Games champions England in September “certainly adds motivation” in her quest to get back in the green and gold.
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Poolman, though, was more excitedabout what the September 19 blockbuster Test at Newcastle Entertainment Centre would do for her home region.

It was announced on Wednesday that Testnetball would return to Newcastle for the first time in six years when Australia seek revenge for their shock Commonwealth Games loss to England last Sunday.

TheDiamonds will play South Africa in Townsville on September 15 and England in Newcastle as part of the 2018 Quad Series. Thelast time Australiaplayed in Newcastle was October 17, 2012, against South Africa. Townsville will host a Test for the first time.

Sam Poolman

Poolman said itwas “super exciting” to hearNewcastle would host the key clashand it served as added motivation for her to be part of it.

“That would be an incredible thing for me,” Poolman said of potentially playing a Test in Newcastle.

“I guess I could add it to my list of what I want to achieve this season, but I think I’mjust really excited for our region to host such an event like this, especially off the excitement of everything that happened at the Commonwealth Games.

“I know there’s so many aspiring netballers in our region and for them to get the chance to see them live, it’s really exciting.

“For the Comm Games champion and the world champions to clash in Newcastle, I don’t think you will get a better game than that.”

Poolman debuted forAustralia at theFast5World Series in Melbourne last October but missed selection for the Commonwealth Games.

The 27-year-olddefender starts her Super Netball season with the Giants against championsSunshine CoastLightning in a grand final rematch on April29 in Sydney.

Although focused on club duties, Poolman was keen for another shot with the Diamonds.

“I got multiple opportunities last year to go into the Diamonds environment and to represent Australia at Fast5,” she said.“That was obviously a real honour but also really exciting to be in that environment and feel like I could hold my own and definitely do a little bit more than that.

“But mypriority is the Giants season.You’ve got to perform for your team first and if you’re taking care of that, those little rewards come at the end of the season. If those opportunities come, it will be absolutely incredible.”

She said the excitement around the Test was not contained to Australians.

“I have two English teammates at the Giants and Imentioned the gameto them today,” she said.

“It was really nice to hear them say they really loved playing in Newcastle, that it was one of their favourite places to visit.I always talk about how great our town is and I’m really passionate about it, so tohear both sides are excited to play in our region is really cool as well.”

Newcastle Netball Association president Del Saunders expected a sell-out crowd for the much-anticipatedTest.

“They will come from all over the place, they will knock each other down for seats,” Saunders said.

“It’s very, very good to get the game.We always encourage it, of course, and they know that we get good support here.I think they have realised the area deserves that kind of exposure.”

A crowd of 3594 watched Australia beat South Africa63-31 at Newcastle Entertainment Centre in 2012.

After the Newcastle game, the Quad series moves toMelbourne for a double-header of Australia versus New Zealand and South Africa versus England on September 23.

Australia then face New Zealand in BrisbaneonOctober 7and again in Townsville onOctober 10 in the Constellation Cup.Tickets for both serieswill be on sale from early June.

The Quad Series and Constellation Cup will be broadcast on the Nine Network, Telstra TV and the Netball Live App.

Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander wasdelighted to bring the team back to regional Australia.

“The Commonwealth Games showcased the excitement and unpredictability of world netball, and this will be on show at the Quad Series and Constellation Cup,” Alexander said.

“We look forward to playing for fans that may not have had the chance to witness us live before.”

QUAD SERIES

Saturday 15 September – AUS vs RSA – Auckland, NZ

Wednesday 19 September – AUS vs ENG – 7.30pm, Newcastle Entertainment Centre, Newcastle

Sunday 23 September – AUS vs NZ – 1pm, Hisense Arena, Melbourne

CONSTELLATION CUP

Sunday 7 October – AUS vs NZ – 1pm, Brisbane Entertainment Centre

Wednesday 10 October – AUS vs NZ – 7.30pm – Townsville Entertainment & Convention Centre

Sunday 14 October – AUS vs NZ – Hamilton

NZ Thursday 18 October – AUS vs NZ – Wellington, NZ

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