‘It’s absolutely massive, I’d heard rumours that she might play but now we know and it will be brilliant for players to get the opportunity to play against her.’
By Paul Prenderville
Last Updated: 19/09/18 11:04am
Tamsin Greenway is backing Sharni Layton to make her mark at Surrey Storm – and says the game needs more personalities like the Australian star, who also has to fulfil a promise to wear the England dress.
Storm stunned the netball world with the high-profile capture of former Australian captain Layton, who will play for Surrey as a designated All-Star player at the Fast5 All Stars Championship in October.
Greenway believes the appearance of Layton, who announced this month she would be switching codes to play Australia Rules football for Collingwood after her retirement from netball, underlines the growing appeal of the sport in the UK and the all-action Fast5 format which features scoring zones, power plays and All-Star players.
“Fast5 will play into her hands too, it’s exciting it’s fast-paced, she will be noisy and entertaining too – it’s right up her street,” Greenway told Sky Sports after hearing the news.
“She is world-class and for fans to see her on a big stage in a great competition is brilliant. We don’t have those noisy, outgoing players who are prepared to give it on court and we need that.
“As a keeper, she gets the balls that you don’t think are possibile and that comes from her personality, which is limited in the game at the moment.”
Layton returned to action with Suncorp outfit Collingwood Magpies this season after a spell out of the game to deal with mental health problems before her admission that her time out made her realise she had little more to achieve and retirement was her next step.
Having won 42 caps for the Diamonds, captained the team and with two Netball World Cups and Commonwealth Games gold medal on her CV, she will add skill to Storm’s bid for success in October.
“She will always say it took her a long time to break into starting sevens for clubs and internationals but it was her grit and determination, with her athleticism, that she was able to do that once she found her niche,” said Greenway.
“That came at goalkeeper, and I also played against her at wing defence, but she is frightening as a keeper – you hear her from the back the whole game.”
Storm land Layton coup
Aussie star Sharni Layton to play for Surrey Storm at Fast5 British All Stars
Greenway is also keen to see Layton make good on a promise before the Commonwealth Games where she said she would wear an England netball dress if the Roses beat Australia.
“She was a bit overconfident, wasn’t she! She should have spoken to me – I was telling them we would do it,” Greenway said.
“Sharni is the kind of person who will make good on those promises and has a great character – it won’t surprise me if we see her busting out the red dress.”
Quite when Layton pulls on the Roses outfit remains to be seen, but she will be in Surrey Storm blue for the Fast5’s next month and that already marks them down as one of the teams to beat.
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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