Commonwealth Games Netball: Donnell Wallam named to Australia’s Diamonds team | Netball News
Australia head coach Stacey Marinkovich has named an 18-man squad, which will be reduced to 12 ahead of the Commonwealth Games; the competition begins on July 29 with the Diamonds’ first game against Barbados on opening day
By Emma Thurston
Last update: 25/04/22 15:19
Donnell Wallam has been named to Australia’s latest Diamonds squad, as they prepare for this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Australia head coach Stacey Marinkovich has selected an 18-man squad, which will be reduced to 12 ahead of the July Games.
Wallam is the only new addition to the team after his impressive start to the Suncorp Super Netball season.
The shooter was due to be a training partner in the competition, but was given the chance to make the Queensland Firebirds main squad, after shooter Romelda Aiken-George announced her pregnancy.
Wallam has scored 210 goals in the first five rounds of Australia’s elite competition and a call-up to Marinkovich’s side continues his meteoric rise in netball.
Elsewhere in the Diamonds squad, West Coast Fever’s Sunday Aryang and the GIANTS duo of Sophie Dwyer and Amy Parmenter continue in their roles. Liz Watson remains captain and Steph Wood, vice-captain.
The Diamonds were beaten by England in the final of the last Commonwealth Games in 2018 on the Gold Coast. However, they enter this year’s competition ranked No. 1 in the world and having won a Netball Quad Series title in January.
Commonwealth Games – July 29 to August 7, NEC Arena
|group A||Group B|
|Wales||Trinidad and Tobago|
“The selection was definitely not an easy task,” Marinkovich said. “We have such a wealth of talent within our system in all positions on the pitch and I congratulate those who have been selected.
“After showing great accuracy and strength at the post in her first Suncorp Super Netball season, Donnell Wallam has been selected to the Diamonds team.
“We have selected 18 athletes and will continue to closely monitor performance throughout the Suncorp Super Netball season, with the possibility of adding to the team throughout the year.
“This team features incredible experience and new emerging talent.
“We have our sights firmly set on the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022, and we are also extremely excited that international netball will return to Australian soil later this year.”
Commonwealth Games – Australia Match Schedule
|friday july 29||Australia vs Barbados|
|Saturday July 30||Australia v Scotland|
|monday august 1st||Australia vs South Africa|
|Tuesday August 2||Australia vs Wales|
|Thursday August 4||Australia vs Jamaica|
Netball begins at the Commonwealth Games on July 29 and the Diamonds are in action on day one against Barbados.
Marinkovich’s side will next face further group matches against Scotland, South Africa, Wales and Jamaica.
The semi-finals will take place on Saturday August 6, while the bronze and gold medal matches will take place on Sunday August 7.
Origin Australian Diamonds Team 2022-23
|Aryang Sunday||Kiera Austin||Brazilian ash|
|Courtney Bruce||Gretel Bueta||Sophie Dwyer|
|Sophie Garbin||Paige Hadley||Sarah Klau|
|Cara Koenen||Kate Moloney||Amy Parmentier|
|Jamie Lee Award||Mady Turner||Donnel Wallam|
|Liz Watson||Jo Weston||Stephanie Wood|
Wallam’s rise to the Diamonds selection
Wallam first became known to netball fans in England when Dan Ryan signed her for Leeds Rhinos Netball’s inaugural season in the Vitality Netball Superleague.
The 6-foot-2 shooter is a former state basketball player and someone who came to netball late in her athletic career. She started playing netball just two years before signing for Rhinos and proved early on that she was capable of delivering under enormous pressure.
Ryan, who described her as a “superstar in the making”, guided and helped her through a formative season and a season that also brought her back after fracturing her radius prematurely.
Prior to joining Rhinos Netball, Wallam emphasized her ability to perform at her best under significant pressure.
Wallam had played in an exhibition match between mixed team West Australian All-Stars and West Coat Fever and was scored by international Courtney Bruce. Throughout the match, she was unimpressed by her international opponent and scored 50 of her team’s 60 goals.
“She’s an all-powerful, deadly accurate target and her ability to snatch the ball in the air is a sight to behold,” Ryan said of Wallam.
Wallam, a Noongar woman, is the first Indigenous person to join the Diamonds team since Sharon Finnan-White in 1990.
“It’s an amazing achievement and one that I’m so proud of,” Wallam said. “I just hope I can inspire our First Nations athletes to pursue their dreams now, seeing as I’ve been on the team.”