Vitality Netball Superleague 2021: Team-by-team guide to new season on Sky Sports

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0:41 Dan Ryan believes the newcomers to the Vitality Netball Superleague can inspire Yorkshire’s netballers

High performance director and head coach: Dan Ryan

First three fixtures: Celtic Dragons on February 12; Saracens Mavericks on February 15; Surrey Storm on February 21

Squad: Jade Clarke, Vicki Oyesola, Brie Grierson, Rosie Harris, Rhea Dixon, Britt Coleman, Sienna Rushton, Amelia Hall, Fi Toner, Paige Kindred, Michelle Magee, Emily Hollingworth, Donnell Wallam and Tuaine Keenan.

Player to watch: In Donnell Wallam, Ryan has someone whose growth curve could be the steepest of anyone in the Vitality Netball Superleague this season.

The 6ft 2in shooter is a former state basketball player and someone who arrived at netball late in her sporting career. She’s already impressed her new head coach with her determination and ability to put new information into practice quickly. Watch out for her!

Dan Ryan about Donnell Wallam

Donnell’s a competitor and she’s hungry to learn. It’s been really rewarding watching her grow and the exciting part is that this is just the beginning. She’s been here for six weeks and she’s already made enormous improvements

London Pulse

First three fixtures: Surrey Storm on February 13; Manchester Thunder on February 21; Strathclyde Sirens on February 28

Squad: Halimat Adio, Ashleigh Dekker, Zara Everitt, Lindsay Keable, Ellie Rattu, Isabel Stibbs, Emma Thacker, Monique Thompson, Sigi Burger, Michelle Drayne, Funmi Fadoju, Lefebre Rademan, Kira Rothwell, Olivia Tchine and Adean Thomas.

Player to watch: While Pulse have introduced a new international shooter and still have a squad packed full of talented younger players, we’re marking your card with one of their more established players; Lindsay Keable.

The defender told Sky Sports that she used first lockdown period last year to raise her standards to a higher level than they’ve ever been before, and her presence will be crucial for the development of those around her.

Lindsay Keable of London Pulse

You’ve got to be open to learning new skills at any time, that’s what keeps you fresh and is probably why I have stayed in Superleague for 13 seasons. I fully respect the fact that people come with new ideas, new abilities and you’ve got to be willing to keep up with that and put the hard work in to do so.

Loughborough Lightning

Director of netball: Sara Bayman

First three fixtures: Team Bath Netball on February 14; Wasps Netball on February 15; Saracens Mavericks on February 21

Squad: Beth Cobden, Sam May, Annabel Roddy, Beth Gabriel, Lucy Parize, Ella Clark, Mary Cholhok, Hannah Williams, Alice Harvey, Jas Odeogberin, Suzie Liverseidge, Nat Panagarry, Lauren Nicholls and Hannah Joseph.

Player to watch: Look no further than Beth Cobden who has shown so much strength and resilience to come back from back-to-back ACL injuries on the same knee.

Cobden will be integral to their mid-court, plus during the Vitality Legends Series, both Sam May and Nat Panagarry showed that they’re hitting the season in form and firing.

Manchester Thunder

Director of netball: Karen Greig

First three fixtures: Strathclyde Sirens on February 12; London Pulse on February 21; Severn Stars on February 28

Squad: Berri Neil, Lois Pearson, Caroline O’Hanlon, Emma Dovey, Rebekah Airey, Eleanor Cardwell, Laura Malcolm, Amy Carter, Joyce Mvula, Loreen Ngwira. Training Partners: Alicia Scholes, Ella Standring, Emilia Roscoe, Millie Sanders and Elia McCormick.

Player to watch: The continued development of Eleanor Cardwell will be one for England Vitality Roses fans to keep a close eye on, after she’s been developing match-by-match with the national side.

Saracens Mavericks

Director of netball and head coach: Kat Ratnapala

First three fixtures: Surrey Storm on February 14; Leeds Rhinos on February 15; Loughborough Lightning on February 21

Squad: Kadeen Corbin, Jodie Gibson, Gabby Marshall, Razia Quashie, Bella Baylis, Britney Pringle-Clarke, Aliyah Zaranyika, Sasha Corbin, Steph Collard, Beth Ecuyer-Dale, Chloe Essam, Georgia Lees, Dani McFarlane, Jo Trip and Ine-Mari Venter.

Player to watch: The South African international shooter, Ine-Mari Venter, has arrived in England with a fierce determination to make a name for herself. Venter has the task of filling the large shoes left by George Fisher and her partnership with Kadeen Corbin could be electric.

Ine-Mari Venter talks about her ambitions this season

My aim now, coming from the Australian league, is to have the break that I need to put my stamp on the international stage. I’m not everybody’s starting player yet, because I hadn’t had a lot of court time. However, going into Vitality Netball Superleague, I want to set myself up as one of the world-class shooters and make a name for myself.

Severn Stars

Head coach: Melissa Bessell

First three fixtures: Strathclyde Sirens on February 13; Wasps Netball on February 14; Manchester Thunder on February 28

Squad: Liana Leota (captain), Nia Jones (vice-captain), Georgia Rowe, Bethan Dyke, Paige Reed, Lucy Harris, Jane Taylor, Lucy Herdman, Malysha Kelly and Adi Bolakoro. Training Partners: Ellie Gibbons, Iman Thomas, Hannah Howl, Chloe Carchrie and Issy Eaton.

Player to watch: Severn Stars’ captain already reminded us of her brilliance during the Vitality Legends Series, so watch out for their new Jamaica international, Malysha Kelly, too. Head coach Bessell is confident that Kelly is going to add greatly to their output during the season.

First three fixtures: Manchester Thunder on February 12; Severn Stars on February 13; Celtic Dragons on February 21

Squad: Gia Abernethy, Lynsey Gallagher, Emily Nicholl, Taylor Cullen, Niamh McCall, Nicola McCleery, Emma Barrie, Bethan Goodwin, Sarah MacPhail, Caitlin Pringle, Emma Love, Beth Dix, Towera Vinkhumbo and Helen Taylor.

Player to watch: In any team, high quality leadership is vital, and Gia Abernethy provides that in spades for Strathclyde Sirens. She’s an extremely safe pair of hands in mid-court and will always set the tone for her team to follow.

Karen Atkinson – Strathclyde Sirens’ technical director

Sirens is an exciting, forward-thinking franchise. They’ve not always had the results on the court but everything that’s happening off the court is all geared towards those results changing.

Surrey Storm

Director of netball: Mikki Austin

First three fixtures: London Pulse on February 13; Saracens Mavericks on February 14; Leeds Rhinos on February 21

Squad: Mikki Austin, Yasmin Parsons, Emily Gulvin, Niamh Cooper, Alima Priest, Leah Middleton, Karyn Bailey, Nicole Humphreys, Grace Sullivan, Sophie Kelly, Ellie Kelk, Ashleigh Jay, Frankie Wells, Emma Magee and Felisitus Kwangwa.

Player to watch: Securing the services of the Zimbabwe Gems’ captain Felisitus Kwangwa is an excellent piece of business from Austin. Kwangwa was an integral part of Zimbabwe’s first Netball World Cup campaign in 2019 and has all the attributes to shine in the Superleague this season.

First three fixtures: Celtic Dragons on February 13; Loughborough Lightning on February 14; Wasps Netball on February 22

Squad: Serena Guthrie, Layla Guscoth, Rachel Shaw, Tash Pavelin, Abi Robson, Betsy Creak, Imogen Allison, Sophie Drakeford-Lewis, Eboni Usoro-Brown, Summer Artman, Chartie Curtis, Hanna Passmore, Kirsty Harris, Jess Shaw, Kim Borger.

Player to watch: Of course, the return of two outstanding internationals in the form of Serena Guthrie and Layla Guscoth, will be incredible for the team. However, look out for Sophie Drakeford-Lewis’ continued development.

In recent international series, Drakeford-Lewis has really started to establish herself and will want to continue doing that on the domestic stage.

Layla Guscoth about her return to Team Bath Netball

I’m really excited to be back. In the couple of years I was here before, it was such a strong family environment and I really loved it. I really felt like I thrived there. I’ve known Anna Stembridge as a coach since I was about 15 or 16. She’s someone who knows me really well, as a player and as a person. I find that a great environment to be a part of.

Wasps Netball

Head coach: Mel Mansfield

First three fixtures: Severn Stars on February 14; Loughborough Lightning on February 15; Team Bath Netball on February 22

Squad: Sophia Candappa (captain), Katie Harris, Josie Huckle, Amy Flanagan (vice-captain), Fran Williams (vice-captain), Ella Powell-Davies, Iona Christian, Lily-May Catling, Gezelle Allison and Rachel Dunn. Training Partners: Hannah Leighton, Ally Housley, Leah Goss, Megan Thorne, Ruth Hughes.

Player to watch: The introduction of Gezelle Allison should provide a real spark and added zip to their work in attack. Needless to say, the whole of the netballing world will be eager to see how her partnership with Rachel Dunn develops.

Mel Mansfield about Sophia Candappa

Her vision, dedication and caring nature always made her a first choice this season. Sophia is a natural leader, a player’s voice and always has the best interests of the squad at heart. Sophia is looking fantastic in training.

Sky Sports is your home of netball. The Vitality Netball Superleague returns on Friday at 4.45pm on Sky Sports Mix, with a 10-match weekend. Every contest will be available to watch across Sky Sports, the Sky Sports YouTube channel or England Netball’s YouTube channel.

Sourse: skysports.com

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