Incoming Diamonds coach Stacey Marinkovich feels the condensed Super Netball season will provide Australian players with an edge going into future tournaments as they look to claim an elusive title.
Marinkovich was a shock appointment to the role over the likes of Melbourne Vixens coach Simone McKinnis and another ex-Diamonds great Vicki Wilson, who has been coaching Fiji.
West Coast Fever coach Marinkovich's first national team business will be a four-Test Constellation Cup series against New Zealand, scheduled for later this year pending coronavirus travel restrictions.
Marinkovich will go into the series with an intimate knowledge of the Test players, with almost all of the Super Netball season played in Queensland and with teams playing twice a week rather than the usual one match.
She said the intensity of the season would bode well for the international arena, with Australia's failure in last year's World Cup and 2018 Commonwealth Games contributing to the exit of former coach Lisa Alexander.
"This is probably like a more tournament style competition - it's probably the longest World Cup you'd ever see," Marinkovich said.
"Every game you go out to play, it's intense and it's ferocious and there is no down time and that's something that no player in Australia has ever experienced in such a condensed format, whether it be at a World Cup or Comm Games.
"It's testing players mentally and physically and I think if players can play at the calibre they're capable in this environment then it sets a really good foundation for where we want to go for the big marquee events."
Former Diamonds captain-turned-commentator Liz Ellis said the pressure is on Marinkovich to deliver gold.
Ellis questioned how the 39-year-old had got the job having never won a Super Netball title as a coach or player, and having never represented Australia.
Ellis believed two-time World Cup winner McKinnis, who won the national competition captaining the Melbourne Phoenix and then coached the Vixens to the 2014 title, was a certainty for the position.
"It was a huge surprise ... a lot of us thought it was going to go to Simone McKinnis," Ellis said on Nine Network's World World of Sports on Sunday.
"We keep being told a process has been gone through and Stacey was the best person for the job but she's got a huge amount of pressure.
"A huge congratulations to her but there's still a lot of questions being asked."
Australian Associated Press
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