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Welsh internationals join Severn Stars

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05: Activity during the Vitality Netball Superleague Super 10 at Arena Birmingham on January 5, 2019 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for England Netball)

Three Welsh internationals have been named in the Severn Stars squad for the 2019 season.

New signings Nia Jones and Bethan Dyke will join goal shooter, Georgia Rowe, who has signed for a further campaign.

Jones said: “I’m super excited to play for Stars!  The move to Stars is a step out of my comfort zone, but it’s a challenge I’m looking forward to getting my teeth stuck into.

“Hopefully I can bring some energy, tenacity, and leadership to an already great team.  I love the art of defending, and I hope opposition players dread marking me because they know it will be a tough contest.”

Defender Jones has 36 caps for Wales and has been playing for the Welsh youth teams since she was 15.  She helped Wales to Senior Netball Europe Gold in 2013 and represented her country at the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games.

“I genuinely believe, with the League becoming more and more competitive each season, a team like Stars can begin challenging the traditional top four teams for a spot in the finals,” said the 27-year-old.  “They have progressed each season and have proven that on their day they can beat any team in the league.  That to me shows not only a good training environment but also a strong winning mindset and ambition. I have been friends and teammates with Georgia and Beth for a number of years so I think knowing one another’s strengths, triggers and traits around matches or training will benefit us as a franchise.”

Jones and Dyke come to Stars, a joint franchise between the University of Worcester and University of Gloucestershire, from Celtic Dragons.

Mid-courter Dyke has 43 caps for Wales, also representing them at the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2015 Netball World Cup.

“I am looking forward to the challenge ahead, being part of a fresh environment and working with new players,” said the 24-year-old, of Bridgend, a former Celtic Dragons player.  “I hope to bring composure, speed, and experience to the squad.

“I am feeling extremely positive and excited about the season ahead; that we can build on the successful season that Severn Stars had last year and challenge for top four this year. I can’t wait to get started!”

Rowe, who has 33 caps for Wales, made an impressive debut season with Stars last year, with a consistently high shooting percentage.  She said: “I really feel I made some big steps last year in my performance so I’m looking forward to continuing this next season.

“I’m excited to be working with Melissa again.  She was my first ever coach who introduced me to the game and taught me the basics of being a player, a professional and a team player.  Melissa knows how to bring out my strengths and knows how to push me so I think it’s going to be good for me to be working under her again.”

Rowe said she hoped the team could move higher up the table this campaign.  “That’s going to happen through consistency of performances and being disciplined,” said the 24-year-old.  “The main thing we took away is that we can perform against the best and be the best so that’s really exciting going into this next season.”

Severn Stars’ Head Coach, Melissa Bessell, said: “Working alongside these three again is a dream for me.  I know them all very well and what they are capable of.  Georgia has been performing well and I’m looking forward to pushing her and watching her develop more in the shooting circle.  Nia has to be one of the most passionate netballers I have had the pleasure of working with.  It is going to be a dynamic, powerful and spine tingling defensive display this season.  Nia’s tenacious, positive attitude and energy will enhance what we have this season.  Bethan is going to be one to watch this season.  Coming back from her ACL injury has kept her sidelined for a season and she is ready and raring to go.  Her movement is beautiful to watch, along with her ability with the ball, will bring something special to Stars this season.”

You can see the Welsh Stars in action at the Season Opener 2020 – buy tickets now!

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