NETBALL: New Zealand and Sunshine Coast Lightning coach Noeline Taurua (right).
NETBALL: New Zealand and Sunshine Coast Lightning coach Noeline Taurua (right). Patrick Woods

Four-year wait almost over as Netball World Cup edges closer

NETBALL Chat by Linda Bunch.

IT'S here! The four-year countdown chimes with the pinnacle of netball starting this week.

The Netball World cup hosted by Netball England from Liverpool will have the top 16 netball nations compete in a two-pool competition culminating with the finals series and grand final game crowning the new netball world champions.

Teams were finalised only weeks ago but this is the event players and teams have been preparing towards for the previous four years.

For the elite players this World Cup will be anything and everything from pure joy and elation to immense disappointment and everything in between.

Some players are already experiencing the heartbreak of having missed successful selection, whilst others are fine-tuning their last preparations.

I'm prepared to put my heart and soul on the line and predict Australia will be victors. Naturally I "want” this to be the case but I feel there are a couple of bonus items in my favour.

There are five countries who realistically could win the World Cup.

Whilst Jamaica and South Africa have improved considerably, it is New Zealand and England who are our book ends.

I feel New Zealand is still in their rebuilding stage but I don't doubt under the coaching prowess of Noeline Taurua they are not to be taken lightly.

In my eyes; the English Roses are our problem.

They've tasted success with their Commonwealth Games win and there is no doubt they will be determined to build on that, especially with a home crowd cheering them on.

Here's to the Diamonds' success.