|Saracens Mavericks have plenty to prove having missed out on play offs the last 2 years. They have a team stacked with talent and coach Kat Ratnapala will be hoping that they gel. Mavericks have added strength in Jodie Gibson in defence but there will be questions over how strongly she returns having been out of action for over a year. The key for Mavericks will be how well the shooting pairing of Kadeen Corbin and George Fisher work and if they can find the right combo in mid-court to get them the ball. Severn Stars have recruited well in the off season but losing star defender Sam Cook will certainly be a blow to them. However, Malawian Towera Vinkhumbo and former England Captain Ama Agbeze will be hoping to cover that gap. Liana Leota has switched to the midlands-based side and will be looking to hit the ground running with her signature flair in attack. Centre pass 2:30pm
Celtic Dragons will be looking to continue their improvement of recent seasons. The questions will be if they’ve covered the loss of stalwarts Kyra Jones and Suzie Drane, as well as their shooting pairing from last year of Kalifa McCollin (Steel – NZ) and Chelsea Lewis (pregnancy). They have picked up 2 Jamaicans in Rebekah Robinson and Latanya Wilson who will certainly add some Caribbean flair and grit to the Welsh side. Surrey Storm have definitely recruited well, covering the loss of Sigi Burger (Pulse) with Karyn Bailey from Mavericks. Player/coach Mikki Austin has also added some cover in defence with former Queensland Firebird training partner Leah Middleton making the switch. Storm should be much improved this season IF they can get Bailey the ball. Centre pass 12:45pm
Strathclyde Sirens will be a familiar looking team to their fans this year, with only a few new faces, most notably South African defender Zanele Vimbela who should add a bit of bite in the circle for them. Their shooting circle is key for Sirens and if they get that right then they will definitely trouble some teams this year. London Pulse are the team that should improve the most this season. They finished bottom last year in their first season in the Superleague and this year it’s all change. New coach and an almost completely new squad – only 4 of their 15 from last year remain – but they’ve added strength in key areas. Michelle Drayne has moved from Mavericks and will be a great addition to their mid court alongside Jamaican Adean Thomas and the previously mentioned Sigi Burger from Storm. We’re looking forward to seeing how she links with Chiara Semple. When Semple is fit and her shooting eye is in she’s unstoppable. Centre Pass 11am.
The Season Opener is sure to be cracking way to start the 2020 campaign – we can’t wait for the action to begin, and I can’t wait to experience it as a fan rather than out on court.
Netball UK Sales & Purchasing Manager
(and current Superleague Champion)