Tippett set to shine for netball Diamonds

Australian goaler Gretel Tippett may not please everyone with her unorthodox style of play but Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander believes she's a match-winner.

australia coach lisa alexander gives her players instructions during the netball world cup gold medal match between australia and new zealand at allphones arena in sydney australia
Australia coach LISA ALEXANDER gives her players instructions during the Netball World Cup Gold Medal match between Australia and New Zealand at Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia. Picture: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Gretel Tippett's unorthodox playing style may not please netball traditionalists but it could be the key to Australia's World Cup success later this year, according to coach Lisa Alexander.

Tippett has been included in the 12-strong Diamonds outfit which will defend their world title in Liverpool, England, in July.

A former WNBL player, Tippett has been in sizzling form this Super Netball season and last round became the first Australian to ever shoot 100 consecutive goals in a domestic season.

The goal attack, who can also play shooter, is the competition's most accurate goaler, sinking 157 from 160 attempts in five matches.

However the Queensland Firebird divides netball fans with her basketball-style lay-up shots and physical game style.

Alexander said Tippett offered the Australian team something that no other player did.

"She brings amazing athleticism playing attack and defence and she can turn ball over," Alexander said of the 25-year-old, who is the younger sister of former AFL star Kurt Tippett.

"That's going to be a real advantage for us in a tournament.

"Being able to get your own turnover and score off it as well, and she's difficult to match up on - ask any defenders."

Alexander said while she appreciated what the traditionalists of the game said about Tippett's unconventional court craft, she felt she was a model for the future of netball.

"This is part of the evolution of our game and I think it's a great thing," she said.

"I think she brings great variety and great creativity to what she does, and a whole lot of joy to a lot of people who really love watching her."

Diamonds skipper Caitlin Bassett is also an avid fan of Tippett, having seen her at close quarters during January quad series in the UK which was won by the Diamonds.

"I think Gretel Tippett has been absolutely fantastic even though the Firebirds haven't been performing that well," fellow shooter Bassett said.

"She has been on fire herself and so I'm looking forward to jumping back into the goal circle with her.

"I watched her in January in the Test series and she was a stand out for me as well there."


AAP