Newcastle defender Sam Poolman has capped a breakthrough season by being named in the Australian team for the Fast5 Netball World Series in Melbourne in October.
The 26-year-old has been in stand-out form since signing with GWS Giants for the inaugural Suncorp Super Netball season.
Australian coach Lisa Alexander told the Newcastle Herald in May that 26-year-old Poolman would get “some sort of opportunity” this year after impressing national selectors as she helped steer GWS to a grand final appearance.
The 189-centimetre-tall goal keeper was overlooked when the Australian Diamonds 18-player squad was named last month.
She has since been one of four players invited to join the Diamonds in camp next week as they build towards the Netball Quad Series this month and ended a nearly two-decade drought for Newcastle when she was named in the 10-player Australian Fast5 squad on Wednesday.
Australia will play New Zealand, England, Jamaica, Malawi and South Africa in the World Series at Hisense Arena on October 28 and 29.
The last Newcastle player to be in the mix for national duties was former Sydney Swift and Hunter Jaeger Raegan Jackson when she was in the Australian squad in the late 1990s. Before that it was sisters Lois and Nola Green, who played for Australia in the 1960s
“I’ve always been a big believer of when it comes to Australian stuff that you need to look after what you’re doing at club level and if you’re doing your job and getting yourself up there then those opportunities and rewards come with that,” Poolman said. “I had a fantastic season in terms of lots of different elements and I enjoyed it at the Giants, and that’s what it was all about for me.
“Now to get this opportunity, it’s something really special and I’m very excited about it.”
Fast5 has less players, shortened quarters, multiple point shots and power plays.
“It’s a really exciting event,” Poolman said. “You don’t have your wing attack and wing defence so it becomes a really tactical and fast game of netball.”