Netball Australia has laid its cards on the table - now it's time for Caitlin Thwaites to reveal her hand.
The goal shoot has been a roaring success in her two years at the Central Pulse, producing performances good enough to warrant her attendance at this week's Australian Diamonds camp in Canberra.
But the question about which side of the Tasman the 25-year-old will play her franchise netball on next year will not go away.
Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander raised it again yesterday, in an interview on radio.
"If she does decide to go back to Pulse, we can manage it, but my preference is that she does come back to Australia," Alexander said.
Thwaites did not make Alexander's 15-strong squad for the upcoming three-test Constellation Cup series against New Zealand, but continues to train with the team as the one "invitee" at their five-day camp.
Thwaites laughed, sighed and generally padded for time, when asked about her trans-Tasman netball league future by The Dominion Post.
"Sort of, but not really," said Thwaites, after being asked if she had made up her mind.
"I'm pretty torn at the moment but I feel like I've got more information. I guess I've been holding off because I didn't have all the information and I wanted that before I made a decision.
"I'm hoping to have it over and done with in the next week or two weeks."
Thwaites came to the Pulse because no Australian franchise wanted her. Now Netball Australia and Alexander are determined to get her back and it sounds like a few franchises are interested too.
"Yes, I do have options [in Australia] and I know that's what she [Alexander] would prefer, having everyone under the high-performance system over here. It's quite a tough decision that I have to make," Thwaites said.
The Pulse's stated aim to is retain most of this year's squad, according to the wishlist drawn up by returning coach Robyn Broughton. That has not changed, said Pulse chairman Ian Collier.
But with the negotiation of the players' collective bargaining agreement at a delicate point, the Pulse cannot comment on Thwaites' situation or that of anyone else.
"But in saying that, we're really excited and we are absolutely confident that we will be able to deliver the team that the coach is looking for," Collier said.
Meanwhile, Thwaites is in the slightly unusual position of being part of the Diamonds' setup, yet not.
She said she was "devastated" to miss out on the official 15, but continues to take a full part in their camp and to plot ways of keeping the Constellation Cup out of New Zealand's hands.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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