Madgen named in World Cup team

August 22, 2018 | Townsville Fire news

JCU Townsville Fire recruit Tess Madgen has today been named in the Chemist Warehouse Australian Opals team for next month’s World Cup in Spain.

Having narrowly missed selection when Australia won bronze in Turkey in 2014, Madgen has been ushered into the Opals’ line-up after a successful return at the recent Four Nations tournament in China.

Fire teammate Darcee Garbin was narrowly overlooked for a berth in the final 12, however, three-time championship winner Cayla George was selected.

Held in Tenerife from September 22 to 30, the Opals will be hoping to put the pain of their disappointing Rio campaign behind them when they arrive in Spain.

“Tess is a tough competitor who has worked hard to get back to full health,” Opals coach Sany Brondello said.

“Her gritty play, tough defence and ‘do-whatever-is-needed-for-the-team’ attitude will be a great asset to us.”

Having won four consecutive club MVP awards with Bendigo and Melbourne, Madgen was among the last players cut for the 2014 World Cup before narrowly missing selection at the Rio Olympics.

During that time, the 28-year-old enjoyed playing stints in the WNBA and Europe but has elected to return to the WNBL this season with the Fire.

Fresh off her selection news, Madgen said she was thrilled to be given a further opportunity to represent her nation.

“I am incredibly honoured and excited to represent Australia at the World Cup,” Madgen said.

“It has something I have spent my entire career training to achieve.

“I believe everything happens for a reason and coming back from my injury has given me a whole new perspective to basketball and I am just really enjoying playing the game and being around the people involved with it and I believe that’s gone a long way in performing to my best abilities.

“The team Sandy and the coaches have put together is one I am extremely excited to be a part of and we will be doing everything to bring home a medal.”

If they finish on top of Group B, Australia will automatically advance to the quarter-finals but a second or third-placed finish will see them placed into a qualification game.

The Opals claimed bronze medals in 1998, 2002 and 2014, as well as a gold medal in 2006 and will be aiming to replicate that success this year.

“Our focus will be making sure we are ready to play at our best each and every game,” Brondello said.

“If we can focus on the process, the result of winning a medal, which is what we expect of ourselves, will happen.”

Fox Sports Australia announced a landmark broadcast deal last year that included exclusive rights to the FIBA Women’s World Cup which means every Opals game will be shown live.

World Cup schedule (all times AEST):

September 22: Australia v Nigeria at 8.30pm
September 23: Australia v Argentina at 8.00pm
September 25:
Australia v Turkey at 8.30pm
September 26: Quarter-Final qualifications
September 28: Quarter-Finals
September 29: Semi-Finals
September 30: Medal Games

Chemist Warehouse Australian Opals:

Bec Allen, Alex Bunton, Liz Cambage, Katie-Rae Ebzery, Cayla George, Tess Madgen, Ezi Magbegor, Lauren Mansfield, Leilani Mitchell, Jenna O’Hea, Alanna Smith and Steph Talbot.