Katy Holland is ready to conquer all challenges with her “motivated, supportive and feisty” Surrey Storm teammates in the 2018 Vitality Netball Superleague.
The aim, as in every other season and with every other team, is clear: to win.
After a long pre-season, the team are keen to put everything they’ve worked on into practice and improve upon their fifth-place finish from 2017.
She said: “We are looking to improve on things that we started last year, develop as well as we possibly can, hopefully we’ve got lots of new things that other teams won’t be expecting from us.
“Every game will be a challenge – we have to play our game and have to be able to play well to win.
“We’ll have to wait and see how it goes!”
As the new season draws closer, the excitement and anticipation mounts.
While Holland admits to some nerves beforehand, she can’t wait to take to the court in duck egg blue once again.
She said: “I think everyone gets nervous before the first game because you’ve been working so hard for such a long period of time and you want to put it all out on court and you want it to all work well – whether that happens or not we’ll have to wait and see.
“It’s a great atmosphere at Storm – this is my seventh season with them – that’s why I’ve been there so long.
“I’m really enjoying the company of the girls and, as I said, the work ethic is great.”
Without a second’s hesitation, Holland picked out her highlight from her time to date with the club.
The Storm fans’ favourite said: “The two years we won it back-to-back were fantastic – we worked incredibly hard as we have since then and that’s always the aim of the season.
“I don’t know any team that would tell you that’s not the aim so we’ll go again this season with the aim to win.”
Holland was the first player to agree terms for the 2018 season and has also taken over the role of captain following Naida Hutchinson’s retirement from professional netball.
Discussing her added responsibility, she said: “I know a lot of the key players who have obviously stayed through year on year and I know what will push the girls.
“I hope to be a strong leader on court as well as off court, rile everyone up, get ready for the game and encourage that Storm ethic of playing together to hopefully get the best outcome.”
The Commonwealth Games will bring a halt to proceedings after Round 7 (last match 18th March) before all eyes return to the Superleague when Round 8 commences on the 21st April.
With some players having only joined up at the end of January, Holland believes the pause will be beneficial.
She said: “Obviously we maybe haven’t had as much time with them as we’d want to pre-season.
“We’ve got those first few games to find our feet, find how we want to play and then we’ve got the break to keep working on everything we want to put into practice and keep building for the rest of the season.”
Storm will undoubtedly be roared on by a legion of loyal supporters in 2018 and Holland stressed how big a role their eighth player will have in helping the team succeed, especially given their fixtures.
She said: “We’ve got some really loyal fans, who are really committed and are there week in, week out.
“We’ve actually got a really strange season this year when we’ve got all of our away games first and then we finish with all of our home games so that’s quite exciting to look forward to.
“We’ve got the hard task of going to all the away games but then we know we’ve got our fans there at the end of the season to really egg us on.
“They’re brilliant, they’re always there to support us and we can’t ask for anything more from our fans.”
Buy tickets for their home fixtures here.