BRITISH FAST 5 NETBALL ALL-STARS
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Lindsey Dowthwaite Photography

Stars set sights on fifth consecutive home win

Severn Stars’ Head Coach, Sam Bird, is hoping her team can make it five wins in a row at home in their last game of the season.

Stars’ recent positive form has seen them win four home games in a row, including the largest winning margin in the club’s history last weekend against Team Northumbria.

Now Bird is keen to see a fifth against Celtic Dragons at the University of Worcester Arena on Monday (June 25, 7.30pm), to close out the season on a positive note for their fans.

“We are really keen to obviously give our fans a great performance in our last home game,” she said. “We love playing at home. We like to be able to prepare and we’re really looking forward to it. It’s really important that we go out and perform how we can to just round everything up. It’s the last chance for the players to play this season and will be an emotional day for me as I’m so proud of how far the squad has come.

“Our fans have been fantastic this season, sticking with the team despite some tough losses earlier in the campaign, and it is great that we have been able to repay their loyalty and enthusiasm with some winning performances as the season draws to a close.”

Last Saturday (June 16) saw the team defeat Team Northumbria by 30 goals, 63-33.  Bird said she believed such a result showed the team’s progress over the course of the season.

“For us we could do with a couple more fixtures really and I think we’d be up there challenging,” she said. “Not even teams at the top are necessarily winning by these massive margins. It shows where we want to be and how to push on for next year.”

Bird added that, despite their winning form, Stars were prepared for a tough test against Welsh side Dragons.

“Dragons are a competitive and physical team,” she said. “They are truly passionate and are always a determined and challenging team to compete with.”

Image credit: Lindsey Dowthwaite Photography

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Stars looking to end season on a high

Severn Stars’ Head Coach, Sam Bird, says she wants her team to end the season on a high with their final three back-to-back home games and show their fans how much they have progressed as a side.

Stars face UWS Sirens, a team they defeated away from home 66-46 earlier in the season, at the University of Worcester Arena, on Monday (June 11) in the first of the three home fixtures to close out their Vitality Netball Superleague campaign.

Bird said this end to the season was a chance to consolidate Stars’ position in the table and said the crowd would play their part in bringing about results.

“I want the team to put out some very good performances up to the end of the season,” she said.

“It’s lovely to have three back-to-back games at home. We have obviously been on the road a lot so it’s nice to get to play at our Arena and have our home crowd and really make it a difficult place for the opposition to come.”

She said it was important to strengthen Stars’ position in the table towards the end of the campaign.

“We have been playing so well so we expect to challenge in every match,” she said. “We’re very positive going into the remaining three games. They’re all at home so it will be great to have a home crowd and we’re looking to showing everyone how much we’ve improved. 

“It’s fair to say Sirens have improved as well since we last played them.  We won’t be underestimating them; they have put in a couple of good performances recently as well, but we’re looking forward to playing them at home.”

Stars’ Captain, Laura Malcolm, added: “We want to finish as high as we can on the table so we want to make sure we secure every win that we can and control what’s in our control.

“Sirens will be another tough game, both teams want to get points on the board so I think it will be very competitive, but we’re up for the challenge.”

For tickets to the match against UWS Sirens visit www.severnstars.co.uk.

The race to reach the Vitality Netball Superleague Grand Final is heating up – don’t miss out on the season-ending spectacular and get your tickets now!

Photo credit: Razorlight Imagery

severn-stars-vs-surrey-storm-oatley-razorlight-imagery

Recovery Key in Double-Header, Says Stars’ Coach

Severn Stars’ Head Coach, Sam Bird, says recovery will be key as to who comes out on top as they go into a double-header, in which they will play the same team twice in four days.

She said that the fixtures, which sees Stars play Surrey Storm at the University of Worcester Arena tomorrow (Friday May 25) and then away at Surrey Sports Park on the Bank Holiday Monday (May 28), present a great opportunity to not only secure six points but also a position in the top end of the Vitality Netball Superleague table.

Stars had been set to host Storm back in early March, but the snowy conditions put paid to that. After a frustrating two-month wait, Severn Stars’ Head Coach Sam Bird says her team are up for the challenge.

“We want to play Storm,” said Bird. “We were frustrated we couldn’t play them when it snowed. The players are really looking forward to getting two big games down against Storm and we’re really up for it. Two matches against the same team in three days is unusual though for the teams and coaches.

“Recovery will be key for the second match away in Surrey. The travel always adds extra logistical challenges but our away performances have improved significantly over recent weeks and Monday should be no exception to that improvement. It’s a challenge preparing for a match against the same team in short succession as we have less time to review and examine the first performance. But I will be working overtime to push on for a second and stronger performance from our squad.”

Stars, a joint franchise between the University of Worcester and University of Gloucestershire, come off the back of an agonising 55-49 defeat to Manchester Thunder. Despite bringing the score back to within just three goals in a nail-biting finale, Thunder managed to hold on. But Bird, who said she was pleased with her side’s performance, is looking for a result this weekend. She revealed the team had had an extra training session this week in order to develop some of the key strategies they would need to deploy against Storm and to develop their own strengths and game plan.

“The weekend presents the chance for six points on the board and to secure us in the top half of the table,” she said. “Storm are a good team with a good history of success in the competition, but we have been performing strongly and we are looking to push on with that level of high performance this weekend.”

The race to reach the Vitality Netball Superleague Grand Final is heating up – don’t miss out on the season-ending spectacular and get your tickets now!

Photo credit: Razorlight Imagery

Celtic Dragons' Kyra Jones (left) and Hertfordshire Mavericks' Joline Johansson

Mavericks ready for Round 2!

Hertfordshire Mavericks had a great Super Saturday as they overcame Celtic Dragons 60-39 in the opening round of Vitality Netball Superleague competition.

The post-match interviews and analysis from players and Head Coach Sam Bird were all singing from the same hymn sheet – great start, but there’s more to come!

The Hertfordshire-based outfit are hosting Loughborough Lightning tonight – a side who have been tipped to perform at the top end of the table this year. It’s definitely set to be a thriller for all netball fans.

Mavs’ local newspaper Welwyn and Hatfield Times have been supporting their franchise with a series of post-Super Saturday articles, so to get you in the mood for another Saturday of Vitality Netball Superleague action you can read more below:-

  • Post-match interview with Sam Bird here.
  • Post-match interview with Joline Johannson here.
  • Dragons v Mavericks match report here.

Don’t forget that if you don’t have tickets to the game, you can follow all the action live on Twitter – follow us or either side for more!