1 year ago

NEW NETBALL UNIVERSE Head Coach: Kathryn Ratnapala Player to watch: Sasha Corbin NU's Take: The Mavericks had a mixed season last year but it's clear they mean business in 2018. A commercial rebranding as the “Benecos Mavericks” could see other franchises follow suit in the quest to increase revenues, and the return of Sasha Corbin is further evidence of their ambition. One to watch?! Head Coach: TeAroha Keenan Player to watch: Fionnuala Toner NU's Take: A significant improvement at the season opening Fast Five competition showed that Team Northumbria are pumped for the 2018 VNSL. The northern outfit know they weren’t competitive enough last year and that results must improve at home as an absolute minimum. Head Coach: Gail Parata Player to watch: Claire Brownie NU's Take: Powered by the energy of a motivated off-field team, the Sirens proved plenty wrong in last season’s VNSL. As Scotland’s only Superleague franchise, they are determined to do their country proud and see greater female equality in Scottish sport. Head Coach: Sam Bird Player to watch: Eleanor Cardwell NU's Take: After failing to set the Superleague alight in their inaugural year, the Severn Stars will at least be hoping to mount a challenge to West Country rivals, Team Bath. Expect the likes of Cardwell, Malcolm, Gibson and Darroch to have the bit between their teeth during 2018. Head Coach: Tania Hoffman Player to watch: Georgia Lees NU's Take: Following years at the top end of the VNSL, finishing middle of the pack in 2017 will have hurt Storm. Their vision is to be the number one franchise in the Superleague, but after the emergence of Wasps and losing key player Naida Hutchinson to retirement, this will be a tough ask for 2018. Head Coach: Karen Greig Player to watch: Kathryn Turner NU's Take: Karen Greig worked a miracle getting Thunder to the 2017 play-off. But the ambitious franchise will be hoping she can take the team to the next level in 2018, and they will definitely need Kathryn Turner fit and firing for a title challenge. Head Coach: Tamsin Greenway Player to watch: George Fisher NU's Take: Everybody knows that Wasps are the team to beat in 2018, but that will only serve as ammunition to them as they prepare to defent their title. Tamsin will be targeting a prolonged era of dominance, and it’ll be up to the other franchises to stop her. With no less than 16 games being broadcast live across the season, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to see the best action from each round. So make sure you tune into Sky Sports, because the 2018 Vitality Netball Superleague is not to be missed! Competition hotting up! The Severn Stars, pictured above in their 2017 home fixture vs Team Bath, will be expecting new Head Coach Sam Bird to hit the ground running, as they take on a whole host of franchises looking to improve on last season. 18

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