Newcastle’s Sam Poolman is set to return to the court for Australia in the 2018 Fast5 Netball World Series this October.
The 27-year-old defender has recently finished her Super Netball campaign with the Greater Western Sydney Giants, after a 57-63 defeat in the major semi-final saw them fall one game short of the title decider.
Despite the shortcomings of the squad as a whole, Poolman enjoyed a strong year with the Giants, and has been retained by the Sydney club for 2019.
Newcastle’s queen of netball has also returned to her home region in recent weeks as she runs her ASPIRE Development Program, a skills clinic run all across the Hunter to “help the next generation of netball talent” from her home town.
Now she has a target for the end of the year too – international representation in the fast-format netball she shone in in 2017.
“I’m really, really excited, I really enjoyed the campaign last year so I’m really excited that I got selected,” Poolman told GiantsTV after selection. “I can’t wait for training to start.”
“Fast5 is a lot faster so you have to give out your max high-intensity effort as quick as you can. Our fitness and training now is working towards that high intensity output.”
As well as the “challenge” that Fast5 brings, Poolman said she’s also going to relish the entertainment and crowd factor that comes with the accelerated international format.
“I like the entertainment side of things because it’s quite different from normal netball, the lights and crowd engagement,” she said. “You have to be in the moment and I love that as a defender.”
Poolman and Australia will be looking to go at least one further after they were bundled out by New Zealand with a 15-34 defeat in the play-offs. England are the defending champions of the short-form tournament after winning the final 34-29 against Jamiaca.
Australia will be play five games in the series, facing off against Malawi, Jamaica, New Zealand, England and South Africa. The top two teams will play off in the Grand Final.
2018 team: Jessica Anstiss, Kiera Austin, Verity Charles, Sophie Garbin, Matilda Garrett, Kimberley Jenner, Sarah Klau, Kate Moloney, Sam Poolman, Kaylia Stanton.