30.07.2008 – Graham Croker


Susan Pratley had a double celebration this week – being a member of the NSW Swifts in their 65-56 win over Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic in ANZ Netball Championship final played at Sydney’s Acer Arena on Monday night, and being selected today in the 2008-09 18-member Australian squad.

The squad will participate in a number of camps at the Australian Institute of Sport throughout August, where additional players may also be invited to join the squad in the camps.

A final team will be selected for the new World Netball Series in New Zealand in September and the Holden Test Series in Australia in October against the world No.2 and No.3 ranked teams, New Zealand and England.

“What we will be looking for in selecting the teams to play Silver Ferns and England are combinations, strength across the court and how we get the ball down the throat of the shooters,” Australian coach Norma Plummer said.

“The ANZ Championship has been great and now, as the Australian team, we look at how we can take the game to the next level.”

Pratley, a Sydney University Sports Scholarship holder and economics/business student, shot 24 from 30 (80 per cent) to go along with captain Catherine Cox’s 41 from 46 (89 per cent) as the Swifts collected the inaugural trans-Tasman league title on Monday night. Cox was named player of the final, which was played in front of a crowd of 12,099.

The Swifts led at every quarter and weathered a Kiwi comeback in the third quarter when the scoreline closed to within two goals.

Pratley, a former Australian Under 21 captain, already has a title in the bag. She was a member of the Sydney Swifts side that won the 2007 Commonwealth Bank Trophy in the national league.

And she was a member of the Australian team that reclaimed the World Netball Championship in New Zealand last November.