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Umpires Appointed to 2018 VNSL

England Netball is delighted to confirm the final group of umpires who will officiate in the Vitality Netball Superleague 2018. The final squad was selected based on match assessment data from England Netball Leagues and Competitions, and on International matches.

All umpires will now take part in a performance camp in early January which will provide them with an opportunity to upskill on a number of topics.

Commenting on his selection James Thomas from the South West said “I am delighted to be selected again. Being part of such a prestigious competition is a great honour and I’m looking forward to the challenge of allowing the players to showcase their talents to the fullest”.

On what will be her 11th season in the Netball Superleague, Louise Travis from the East Region said “I never take these appointments for granted and I am so pleased to be selected. This is where the hard work really starts and I am so grateful to my family for their on-going support which enables me to be an elite umpire, Mum and Wife”.

One of the newest additions to the group, Kate Mann from the East Midlands commented “It is an honour and a privilege to be selected to umpire at the highest level in the UK and wish to thank everyone that has contributed something to get me where I am today. I am really looking forward to it”.

The Vitality Netball Superleague will run concurrently with the U21 and U19 leagues which will provide a better opportunity for an interchange of umpires between these competitions. Superleague Assessors will be on hand to provide support and feedback to all umpires to ensure a consistently high standard of performance.

The new season begins with title holders Wasps Netball taking on Surrey Storm at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on the 10th February 2018.

Alison Davies IUA Wales
Chris Obin S
Gary Burgess IUA E
Ian Fuller IUA WM
Jackie Mizon IUA E
James Thomas ITID SW
Jemma Carlton IUA Australia
Jenny Fissenden L&SE
Kate Mann EM
Kate Stephenson IUA EM
Louise Travis IUA E
Lucy Turner L&SE
Rachael Radford Y&H
Stuart McErlain-Naylor EM
Tracey Lamb IUA Scotland
Reserve Umpires
Amber Derrien L&SE
Julie Wilks S
Sue Brown E

All appointments are made pending submission of the required fitness scores (9.1 Multi-stage Fitness Test or 15.1 Yoyo Intermittent Recovery Test).

*Sarah Watts was selected into the final pool of umpires but due to work commitments and a new role as Assistant Principal Moderator she has decided to focus all of her efforts on her teaching career. England Netball wishes her the best of luck and thanks her for her dedication to the VNSL.

General view of action between Surrey Storm's and Manchester Thunder

Turner and Mvula reunite to lead Thunder’s attack

Kathryn Turner and Joyce Mvula will lead Manchester Thunder’s attack for the 2018 Superleague campaign.

Turner was the league’s best goal attack last season and Mvula enjoyed a successful breakthrough year following her move from native Malawi.

They will be joined in the shooting circle by Amy Clinton and new recruit Ally Thomas, who will be support for Turner at goal attack.

Head coach Karen Greig has stayed true to Thunder’s ethos and values, by blending experience with youth when selecting her squad, especially with her shooters.

Greig said: “I want to reward the players that did so well for us last season, some showed great progress throughout the season and are still desperate to learn and succeed.

“We are a franchise known for developing our own youth and I want to continue to keep that tradition.”

Greig, who goes into her second season as head coach, is looking for even more from import player Mvula, who she says ‘showed flashes of brilliance’ in her debut season in the Black and Yellow dress.

“Joyce had a steady season last year and she will come back to us fully confident with a full season behind her. I will be looking for her to show more consistency in 2018,” she said.

Former Thunder shooter Greig believes the addition of Thomas to an already well-drilled attack will help to create ‘frightening’ combinations.

She said: “Kathryn Turner was stand out the best GA in the league last season and with Amy Clinton growing all the time we have a formidable line up.

“Ally has performed well in National Premier League for Tameside for the past few years and also played for Thunder in the junior ranks so she knows what playing for Thunder is about, she will bring stability and a calmness to our unit.”

For the latest Manchester Thunder news, head to their official website.

Photo credit: Razorlight Imagery

Severn Stars Announces Exciting Squad for 2018

A mixture of international and national experience, along with emerging talent makes up the new Severn Stars squad, which has been announced ahead of the new Superleague season.

Ellie Cardwell and University of Worcester student Jodie Gibson, who have both been selected for the England squad taking part in a three-match Vitality Netball International Series against Malawi this month, are back playing for the Stars following last season’s eye catching performances.

Laura Malcolm returns to captain the side for a second season, along with strong mid-courter Sophie Carter, and fans’ favourite, Becky Oatley, also a student at the University of Worcester. England Under 21 player and University of Worcester student, Iona Darroch, also returns to the team.

New additions to the team include Samantha Cook, Rosie Allison, University of Gloucestershire student Ella Powell Davies, Laura Rudland and University of Gloucestershire student Shona O’Dwyer, who have all previously played for Team Bath.

Amanda Davis joins the side having previously played for Surrey Storm, and Dominique Ford-Gordon moves from Wasps where she was a training partner last season.

This adds to the international signings announced last week. Maryka Holtzhausen and Phumza Maweni play in their native South Africa; Holtzhausen for Free State Crinums and Maweni with Western Cape Stings. However, they are no strangers to the Superleague, both having played for Loughborough Lightning in 2015.

Nine out of the 15 players in the squad for the 2018 season were in the team that reached the semi-finals of the British Fast 5 All-Stars Championship in September, narrowly missing out on a spot in the final at the O2 Arena.

Severn Stars Head Coach, Sam Bird, said: “We are excited to see what the 15 players selected can do this season. We have competition for every place in the team and the work ethic of the squad is excellent. We also have a good mix of experienced England, ex England and current international players. Alongside them we are developing young players in line with our mission to make to the top four playoff spots, but also to nurture players for the future.”

For tickets for the upcoming fixtures visit www.severnstars.co.uk.

Surrey Storm's Katy Holland

Holland re-signs for Storm