'Never saw myself playing four Commonwealth Games' – evergreen Maria Folau buzzing after Gold Coast selection

Silver Ferns veteran Maria Folau as excited is as ever to don the black dress on the Gold Coast in April, earning selection for her fourth Commonwealth Games.

Folau, 30, will spearhead the Ferns' attack, looking to add to her gold medals won at the 2006 and 2010 games respectively. Folau also won a silver medal with the Ferns in the 2014 games.

Speaking to 1 NEWS today, the superstar couldn't hide her delight at getting to represent her country yet again.

"I am actually quite surprised that my body's lasted this long," Folau joked.

"I never, ever, ever saw myself playing four Commonwealth Games."

"It's always an honour and a privelege to represent New Zealand, especially at the Commonwealth Games - it'll be exciting."

Watch FULL LIVE COVERAGE of the 21st Commonwealth Games free-to-air on TVNZ from April 4, 2018.

The Silver Ferns ace has been named in the 12-strong side to compete on the Gold Coast. Source: 1 NEWS



Copycats? Aussies unveil netball captain for Quad Series... after a team vote

Caitlin Bassett's retention as Australian netball captain came down to a team vote, coach Lisa Alexander has confirmed.

In an unexpected revelation ahead of the Quad Series starting in Auckland on Saturday, Alexander said the Diamonds canvassed players via a 3-2-1 voting system on a semi-regular basis to determine their skipper.

Veteran goal shoot Bassett had won the most recent election after a new-look squad gathered to prepare for the series which also features England, New Zealand and Australia's opening opponents, South Africa.

It had been widely assumed Bassett was simply retained as skipper from their most recent campaign, April's Commonwealth Games.

However, Alexander said each player had been asked to cast their votes openly to keep accountability high and allow players to clear the air.

Questions about the voting method only emerged after New Zealand's newly- appointed coach Noeline Taurua this week revealed a voting system to unearth a captain.

Returning midcourt veteran Laura Langman topped the ballot and was unveiled today.

New coach Noeline Taurua let the players choose their leader. Source: 1 NEWS

Alexander wasn't surprised successful Sunshine Coast Lightning mentor Taurua had gone down the democratic path as it was commonly used in Australian netball circles.

"We've been doing that ourselves for a long time," she told AAP.

"Noeline is getting the opinions of her players and seeing where they stand and how they'll work together. It's a smart thing to do and will only benefit them."

Langman was named captain after a team vote led by new coach Noeline Taurua. Source: 1 NEWS

Alexander said the public nature of Australia's voting system meant nothing gets hidden between players.

The newly-elected captain or a teammate who falls short in the process can seek immediate feedback.

For example, not all of the Diamonds players voted for 30-year-old Bassett, she said.

"There are athletes that she'll know she needs to reconnect with or talk with and say 'what is it about what I'm doing that you're not happy with?

"So they can have those genuine conversations which are really important for us to move forward as a high performance team."

Alexander is relishing the prospect of a tightly-fought Quad Series.

She admits the match against England in Newcastle on Wednesday is in the back of her mind, having gone down by a solitary goal to the Roses in the final of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

However, she was reluctant to look too far beyond Saturday's opponents South Africa, coached by her long-serving Diamonds predecessor Norma Plummer.

"I'm a huge admirer of Norma, we go back such a long way," Alexander said.

"She's competitive like I am and there's no way she'll coach a team that will lie down."

Kelly Jury defends Caitlin Bassett
Kelly Jury defends Caitlin Bassett Source: Photosport


New Silver Ferns skipper Laura Langman describes her role - 'I'm the PVA, the glue!'

Laura Langman may be the official Silver Ferns captain but she's seeing her role more as the adhesive in a squad of leaders than someone who will strictly control it.

Langman was announced as the first skipper under Noeline Taurua's reign thanks to a team vote issued by the new coach. 

She replaces Katrina Grant. 

"I was told last night," she said.

"We had to get our forms back by yesterday, 1pm!"

The recalled midcourter said she expects multiple players to contribute their leadership skills to the squad as they look to bury an embarrassing Commonwealth Games campaign earlier this year.

"I definitely want to ensure that I just do the coin toss and then from there, everyone has their role and contributes.

"I feel like 99 per cent of my role is to do my job, whatever that is on-court or off-court, to the best of my ability and to provide guidance or be a link wherever needed.

"Pretty much, I'm just the PVA. The glue in the middle."

Langman and the Silver Ferns take on England on Saturday in their first international match since the Commonwealth Games at Spark Arena.

Langman was named captain after a team vote led by new coach Noeline Taurua. Source: 1 NEWS

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

Revealed: The new Silver Ferns captain, selected after voting from players and staff

The Silver Ferns have announced today that their new skipper will be re-called midcourter Laura Langman, as the New Zealand side prepare for the Quad Series which begins on Saturday in Auckland.

New Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua let the players choose their captain via a 3-2-1 voting basis, but she and chief executive Jennie Wyllie also casted a vote. Defender and prior skipper Katrina Grant was named vice-captain.

"It is a very short turn around for our team heading into this series and as a group we decided Laura and Katrina were the players to fill those two leadership roles over the next two months," Taurua said.

"Laura's leadership qualities have been recognised in regards to her high standards she sets, her passion for the game and black dress, and her strong work ethic.

"She is a player who leads by example both on and off the court and has the respect of her peers.

"I know she’s excited to be playing at this level again and with the honour that comes with captaining your country and with the leadership experience that Katrina brings they will provide a strong foundation base for the side."

The midcourt veteran will has returned to the Ferns' squad after time overseas. Source: 1 NEWS

Langman and Grant will fill the roles through to the Constellation Cup and the positions will be reviewed looking ahead to next year’s Netball World Cup in England.

The opening Quad Series Tests on Saturday pits Australia against South Africa and New Zealand against England.

Silver Ferns midcourter Laura Langman Source: Photosport


Topics


Silver Ferns defender Temalisi Fakahokotau's season comes to abrupt end after rupturing ACL

The Silver Ferns have suffered a serious setback ahead of their first match under new coach Noeline Taurua with experienced defender Temalisi Fakahokotau ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.

Fakahokotau ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her right knee during training today.

Taurua said it was a big blow to the squad.

"Temalisi is an outstanding player both on and off the court and the loss of her defensive energies will be missed by the team."

The 24-year-old was coming off a successful ANZ Premiership season leading the defensive stats in intercepts, deflections and rebounding with the Mainland Tactix.

Northern Mystics defender Michaela Sokolich-Beatson has been called into the team as injury cover.

The Silver Ferns begin their Netball Quad Series on Saturday against England.

New Zealand's Temalisi Fakahokotau. Silver Ferns v Australia, Netball semi final Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast, Australia. Saturday 14 April, 2018. Copyright photo: John Cowpland / www.photosport.nz
New Zealand's Temalisi Fakahokotau in action for the Silver Ferns in a Commonwealth Games semi-final match against Australia. Source: Photosport