Time will tell how prominent the Corletto name becomes on courts this side of the Tasman. Hamish Bidwell reports.
It was the best laugh Julie Corletto gave all interview but what it actually meant was difficult to tell.
The Melbourne Vixens and Australian Diamonds defender must have known a question about when she is going to move to New Zealand would arrive eventually.
When it did, all she really did was chuckle.
"I don't know. My main focus is on this season and making sure we get a championship win, and then I'll decide what I'm doing next year," Corletto said.
"I really don't know what I'm doing at the moment, to be honest."
For those who don't know, there's a couple of reasons why Corletto might want to leave the Vixens. First, she tried to get out of her contract for this year to join the Queensland Firebirds and, second, and most important, husband Daryl spends most of his time in Auckland.
A member of the New Zealand Breakers team which defended their ANBL title this year, Daryl Corletto has since extended his stay for two more seasons.
"So I'll definitely be with him a lot in New Zealand anyway," Corletto said.
Whether that would include playing her trans-Tasman league netball here as well, the 25-year-old said it was genuinely too soon for her to say. But it seems safe to assume she and Daryl will continue their one-on-one basketball games, wherever they're based.
"Yeah, we've got a basketball ring in the backyard so we muck around a bit with that, with me defending and him shooting. It's a bit of fun – we live in a pretty competitive household," she said.
If Corletto does eventually sign with a team here, she can take some comfort from the fact her former Melbourne Kestrels and Vixens team-mate Caitlin Thwaites, now in her second season with the Central Pulse, has remained in the Diamonds' reckoning from this side of the ditch.
"I know Caitlin has a great time in that team and really enjoys it, and when you're enjoying it, you play some really great netball," Corletto said. "It's been a fantastic move for her."
CORLETTO and Thwaites will renew their acquaintance on Monday night, when the Vixens and Pulse meet at Porirua's Te Rauparaha Arena.
Coming into the penultimate round of the competition, the Vixens sit second on the ladder, which Corletto said was higher than she expected.
But three away wins to start the season galvanised the team, while they've also had the happy knack of winning some tight ones at home.
The Firebirds, Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic and then the West Coast Fever have all been beaten by a goal.
In 2009, when the Vixens were defending champions, Corletto said, those close games were being lost.
It's the teams that win them that end up claiming the title as well, in her opinion.
The Vixens are definitely in the mix to do that, provided they do a professional job in their last two round-robin matches. After playing the Pulse, they'll spend a few days training in Wellington before flying down to Invercargill for their clash with the Southern Steel tomorrow-week.
"The competition is so tight and there's no team that you can beat easily, like we showed in our game on the weekend," Corletto said.
"The Fever aren't on top of the ladder but we only managed to win by a goal, and the Pulse have recruited really well in the off-season and have been putting together some really good performances, and recently as well, with that win over the Thunderbirds."
AT A GLANCE
Name: Julie Corletto Age: 25 Height: 1.84m Position: Goal defence, wing defence Teams: Melbourne Phoenix, Melbourne Kestrels, Melbourne Vixens, Australia Test appearances: 33 Also: Member of Australian 2007 and 2011 world championship-winning teams and 2009 Vixens side which won the trans-Tasman title. Winner of 2009 Liz Ellis Diamond, for Australian player of the year. Married to New Zealand Breakers guard Daryl Corletto
- © Fairfax NZ News
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