Netball World Cup too close to call, says Australia head coach Lisa Alexander
Watch every match of the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 live on Sky Sports from July 12-21
By Blake Welton
Last Updated: 07/07/19 9:42pm
Australia head coach Lisa Alexander believes the Netball World Cup is "too close to call" as her side prepares to defend their title in Liverpool this month.
The tournament starts on Friday July 12 with Australia facing Northern Ireland in their opening Group A game as they look to claim a fourth consecutive tournament win.
Although many are predicting either them, hosts England or Jamaica as the teams to beat, Alexander believes there are more in contention.
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"I think New Zealand and even South Africa may also be a threat," Alexander said. "England's half of the draw is tough and you never know what Jamaica will bring.
"New Zealand are in our side of the draw and there's a few players who will be appearing in their last World Cup so they will be hungry for success."
And with eight games in ten days, Alexander believes how sides approach the tournament will also be crucial in determining the eventual winners.
"There's definitely a mental factor to consider and it's the job of the coaching staff to keep the players confident but not over-confident," said Alexander.
"Keeping them in the right frame of mind for the right part of the tournament in crucial - you don't want them peaking too early but building towards performances at the end of the week."