Is the World Cup Farewell for Diamonds Captain Laura Geitz?
By Sam Squiers
Laura Geitz is the first to admit it’s been some 12 months. A Commonwealth Games gold medal, Firebirds ANZ Championship victory and now she’s preparing to captain the Diamonds at the World Cup for the first time. Success in the home tournament would set the scene for the ultimate farewell and Laura isn’t shying away from talk of retirement.
“I’m not 100% sure, I’m probably focussing more on the next couple of weeks and I think whatever happens with this result will probably make things a little clearer in my head,” Laura tells Sportette.
“It’s fair to say that I’m getting to the later part of my career and I’m just enjoying playing too much to give it all away and we’ll just see what happens”.
“I probably don’t know exactly what will happen until we get to the end of this tournament and then I can have a little more understanding of whether I want to continue to play and what I want to do.”
I think whatever happens with this result will probably make things a little clearer in my head
It’s hard to read where Laura stands on the issue but she’s not one to play someone along. A country girl from Allora in Queensland, it’s her honest, straight up attitude that has made her adored nationwide, so when she says she’s 50 50, it’s likely she’s got plenty of soul searching to do until anything is made official.
Laura first pulled on the green and gold dress in 2008 and took over the Australian captaincy less than two years ago when she led the Diamonds to a 4-1 win over New Zealand in the Constellation Cup. A natural leader she combines a gutsy determination with graceful dignity, a teammate to her friends and a friend to her teammates, she’s earned respect both on and off the court.
But as the ticks continue to be scribed onto her netball bucketlist, it’s caused Laura to think about the end when many would argue she’s still in her prime.
“I’m 28 years old and that might be young for a lot of people but I’ve been lucky in my career and have achieved on an international scale most of the things that I’ve wanted to do. There’s still a constellation cup that I’d like to be involved in this year and another test series against New Zealand.”
“So I think in my head 2015 was the year that I wanted to give everything to netball and I’ll continue to do that. If I get to the end of 2015 and still have the desire to compete then I’ll continue to play. If not, then that’s when I know it’ll be time to do other things.”
A World Cup win could prove the deciding factor but despite the Diamonds entering the tournament as defending champions and on a 19 game winning streak, Laura knows there’s a long way to go yet.
“The last thing we want is to hot foot it into Sydney and to think that we’re the bees knees and being a home World Cup, it’s owed to us. That’s definitely not our train of thought and that’s why we’re trying to go about our business the best way,”
“I think for us we just have to understand that there’s some really decent competition in New Zealand, England and Jamaica. I think they’re a little bit unknown to us and I think that makes them extremely dangerous.”
Only three teams have ever won the Netball World Cup but that doesn’t stop Jamaica from making up the tournament’s “big four” and it’s a situation that could see Laura mark up on her Firebirds teammate and good friend Romelda Aiken.
“We saw Romelda at the Firebirds really take on a leadership role in the attack end this year and really stand up. In that Jamaican team she’s really going to set the platform for them and demand more success from.”
“I get excited about the challenge, I love playing on her, she loves a it of banter and she’s a great competitor but above all else she’s one of my favourite people in the world, she’s a cracker,”
“But all of that will be put to side when we feel we both have a job to do and we both, at the end of the day, want to win.”
And there’s no doubting how important the next ten days will be for Laura.
“It means everything to win this one. It’s the big one, it’s a dream, something to achieve not only for the playing group but individually as well.”