By Paul Prenderville
Last Updated: 18/09/18 8:53pm
Australian star defender Sharni Layton has put retirement on hold for one day after being confirmed an All-Star player for Surrey Storm at the Fast5 Championship.
Each of the eight teams that have qualified for the All-Stars Championship can bring in two All-Star players for their squad of 10 and Surrey may have landed the biggest name with the capture of Layton.
The 30-year-old was part of the 2011 and 2015 World Cup-winning squads for the Diamonds and also won Commonwealth Games gold in 2014 and she will link-up with Storm for this year’s Fast5 All-Stars Championship on October 13.
The quickfire form of the game, won by Loughborough last year, sees teams feature in 12-minute matches, an all-star 5-point line and a Golden Buzzer Power Play, and Layton cannot wait to get started.
“I cannot wait to link up with Surrey Storm and help the team as we go for glory at The Copper Box,” said Layton.
“Fast5 is a thrilling form of netball and with the top eight Superleague teams all in action I know it’s going to be a great day and I’m excited to be a part of it.
“It will be great to get back out on court and it’s a privilege to be offered this chance by Surrey Storm to come and help them in their goal of winning the Fast5 All-Stars.”
Layton stunned the netball world earlier this year when she revealed she would be retiring from the game and her final match for Collingwood Magpies was an emotional affair. Having taken some time out of the game to deal with mental health issues, she has a new-found sense of perspective and the desire to take on new challenges.
At the announcement of her retirement she confirmed she would be taking up a spot in the Collingwood women’s Australian Rules Football team, but not before taking to the netball court for one last time.
Team Bath were the first team to make their All-Star announcement with Stacey Francis returning to wear the Blue & Gold dress and, with the deadline fast approaching, more superstar names are expected to be confirmed in the coming days.
But for now all the attention is on Layton. Not just for her skills on the court, but also a forfeit that may be coming her way after she promised to wear an England dress if the Roses beat Australia to win Commonwealth gold.
“Plenty of people have reminded me that I did promise if England Roses beat the Diamonds in the Commonwealth Games finals I’d wear the Roses dress – well the wait is almost over! See you in London!”
Sky Sports will have live coverage of the 2018 British Fast5 Netball All-Stars Championship on Saturday October 13.
Tickets for the 2018 British Fast5 Netball All-Stars Championship are available via www.fast5allstars.co.uk with tickets priced at £20, £30 and £40 with courtside hospitality tickets available at £99.
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