Simpson excited by Diamonds’ future

Gabi Simpson says the prospect of being a part of Australia’s blossoming midcourt and the next generation of Diamonds “is beautiful”.

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The 23-year-old, who made her international debut in last year’s Constellation Cup series, has started both Test victories over England as part of an inexperienced and experimental midcourt.

And while the gun wing defence noted the teething problems associated with learning new combinations in the hostile environment of international netball, she’s delighted with their progress and excited about the future.

With 21-year-old Liz Watson starring in her maiden international series, adding a game-high 17 assists in the second Test in her first start for the Diamonds, and the likes of 23-year-old wing attack Paige Hadley and 22-year-old goal attack Gretel Tippett getting significant gametime, Simpson believes the foundations are well set.

“It’s beautiful – all four of us are really taking our opportunity,” Simpson told AAP.

“We’re working together extremely hard to continue to build those connections and that’s only going to strengthen over the next four years.

“We know that really you have one opportunity to put your hand up and that’s the best part, we’re all ready for that.”

Watson made her debut in the first Test before playing the full 60 minutes in London on Friday.

Simpson believes the rising star of Australian netball has a big future at international level.

“She is just a tank. She just goes and goes and goes,” Simpson said.

With coach Lisa Alexander attempting to create more depth and versatility within the squad, introducing a new generation of players has become even more important.

And the role of veteran Natalie Medhurst, who has started each game at wing attack before moving to the more familiar position of goal attack, has been vital in the transition.

“I think her experience is something that you just can’t put a value on,” goal shooter Caitlin Thwaites added.

“The way that she brings the ball down, the way she sets up the play, it’s fantastic and because we do have a relatively young midcourt, I think she just stepped up and took control.”