Former Aussie's chance to shine for the Pulse

BY PENNY MILES
Last updated 05:00 12/09/2009

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Aussie Jane Altschwager has a point to prove.

The new Pulse signing unveiled this week aspires to blast her way back into the limelight in New Zealand next season.

At the Sydney Swifts, as a teenage goal attack, Altschwager was the linchpin in the national league-winning side.

Former Swifts team-mate Liz Ellis said Altschwager, now 29, had had few opportunities to rediscover those early career highs.

"When she was young she was one of the best players on court in our inaugural premiership win back in 2001," Ellis said.

"She was still at the AIS [Australian Institute of Sport] then and I really thought she would have a massive future and play a number of tests for Australia."

For the record, Altschwager played seven tests and was in the Australian squad for six years.

Ellis said the lanky 1.93m shooter could revive her career in Wellington.

"Jane is probably someone who never lived up to her potential and she would probably be the first to admit that," she said.

"I think she is someone who is enormously talented. The one game that she got this year, for the Thunderbirds [against the Fever], she was the best on court. "It was like she had found a new lease of life. Then she didn't get a go again."

Altschwager will offer experience to the young Pulse side and clearly wants more court time.

"She has played with a number of teams and she knows what it takes to win," Ellis said. "She also knows the downside of what happens when you don't get out there and do the work."

While Ellis suggested Altschwager may have lacked drive, she also became involved in a torrid battle for her place at the Swifts.

Fellow shooter Catherine Cox arrived from Perth and squeezed Altschwager off the court.

Altschwager moved to a new team in Newcastle.

She captained the Hunter Jaegers but had her contract cut in 2007 when a new coach arrived.

After a spell away from the game, Altschwager won a contract last year at the Thunderbirds in the first season in the trans-Tasman competition.

If she can spark her undoubtable talent, then the Pulse may have signed a winner.

"If she's prepared to do the work she's almost unstoppable," Ellis said. "She's incredibly skilful and really difficult to defend."

JANE ALTSCHWAGER

Born: August 25, 1980

Height: 1.93cm

International: Australia (1999-2004)

Trans-Tasman: Adelaide Thunderbirds (2009), Pulse (2010)

Australian National League: Hunter Jaegers (2004-2007), Sydney Swifts (1997-1999, 2001-2003)

Altschwager was in the Australian team for the 1999 World Netball World Championships (Christchurch), 2002 Commonwealth Games (Manchester) and the 2003 World Netball Championships (Jamaica)

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