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Severn Stars has appointed player Sam Cook as its assistant coach as it builds towards the new Vitality Netball Superleague season.

Cook, who has been a fixture in Severn Stars’ defensive line-up for the past two seasons, will be working with new Head Coach, Melissa Bessell.

“I am excited about taking my coaching to the next level,” she said.  “It’s not just the playing opportunities that you take in netball; when a chance to coach at Superleague level presents itself, you have to take it.  Having loved coaching the Pathway, I am looking forward to the new challenge of working with players at the highest level of netball in this country.  I have played alongside a lot of this year’s squad and, as a result, hope that my leadership on the court will have gained their trust and respect to lead them off the court too.”

Cook has been the Severn Stars Pathway Head Coach for the past two years, helping to guide younger players in the Stars’ Under 19 and Under 21 set-up.

The 27-year-old is currently unable to play herself due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury in her knee back in September.

“I never thought that as a result of my injury I would end up assisting Melissa, however I knew that I wanted to be involved in some capacity,” said Cook.  “With big decisions to make regarding my playing career, I felt this would be too great an opportunity not to take, especially under the guidance of such a supportive and passionate Head Coach.”

With the season fast approaching, she has set her ambitions high for the team, which is a joint franchise between the University of Worcester and University of Gloucestershire.  “I want the team to get to the final,” said Cook.  “As cliché as it sounds, we do not dedicate our time physically and mentally to settle for anything less.  Consistency every week will be key.”

Melissa Bessell said: “Sam has a lot of experience as a player and being a qualified coach it was a done deal.  I am very excited to have her by my side this season as we build this team together.”

Severn Stars Co-Director, Anita Navin, said: “Severn Stars is thrilled to appoint Sam, who was one of the leading athletes in the 2019 season and now has the opportunity to translate her knowledge of the game in the coach role.  Sam will rise to this challenge and under the leadership of Melissa will no doubt be an asset to the team in the up and coming season.  She has an infectious personality, shows empathy in the coach position and she will forge a great partnership with Melissa at the helm.”

To stay up to date with the Vitality Netball Superleague, including player movements, tickets and the latest news make sure you sign up to the Vitality Netball Superleague mailing list, you can sign up here.

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