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'I'm not happy' – Diamonds coach angry over Kayla Cullen's Australian switch

Kayla Cullen's signing with the New South Wales Swifts has not been welcomed by Australia coach Lisa Alexander, suggesting instead that the Silver Fern's spot should instead be given to an up and coming Australian.

With 27-year-old Cullen already living in Sydney to be with partner and NRL star Shaun Johnson, the move to play for the Swifts was an obvious step for the 47 Test midcourter, her signing confirmed yesterday.

Despite following in the footsteps of the likes of Laura Langman, Katrina Rore and Maria Folau as Kiwis to ply their trade in Australia's Super Netball League, Cullen's move did not sit well with Diamonds coach Alexander.

Talking to media as the Diamonds prepare for the second Constellation Cup Test against the Silver Ferns in Auckland tomorrow night, Alexander was questioned about Cullen's move.

"I'm not happy about it because I'm the Australian coach, and I want Australian athletes playing in those spots," Alexander said.

"I don't have anything against Kayla Cullen or the Swifts, that's their decision to make, but as the Australian coach, it's not happy days for me.

"I would prefer a young player from our country getting that opportunity."

However, Alexander's anger towards Kiwi players heading across the ditch doesn't seem to apply to rival coaches, complimentary over former Sunshine Coast Lightning and current Silver Ferns boss, Noeline Taurua.

"We both really respect what each other are doing.

"When she first came over, I was one of the people that encouraged her to come over. I don't think it would have happened if there wasn't that encouragement.

"I saw it as being a really important thing for the Sunshine Coast Lightning to have one of the top coaches in the world, and she's been that.

"We've learned a lot from her too, and hopefully she's learned a lot from us. That's what it's about from a world netball point of view.

We want our sport to grow on a global level.

"We've got responsibilities to our own countries, and responsibilities for world netball."

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Lisa Alexander says she'd rather the NSW Swifts had signed a young Australian player instead of Silver Fern Cullen. Source: 1 NEWS


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