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Iona Christian joined Wasps from Stars in the last window.

The 2021 Vitality Netball Superleague full signing window opened this week and it will give all 11 sides an opportunity to form their squad before the season starts in February.

The signing window allows teams to fully shape their squads by bringing in players from different outfits or retain the services of key players, who might be attracting attention from elsewhere.

If this is your first time following the VNSL or you just need a refresher, we have compiled everything that you need to know for the months ahead.

When does the signing window open and close?

The 2021 non-exclusive Vitality Netball Superleague signing window opened on Monday 17 August. Teams will have a 74-day period to get there business done before the deadline of 5pm on 30 October 2020 when all clubs will be expected to have finalised their squads.

Prior to 17 August, teams had two weeks where they were exclusively able to talk to their 2020 squad players and offer them contracts.

How large can squads be?

Squads are compiled of 15 players in total – 10 of which are registered players while the other five are training partners.

Any of the 15 can be included in any given matchday squad. Matchday squads were reduced from 12 to 10 in 2019.

Who can clubs sign?

Clubs can sign a maximum of 15 players during the window and can approach any player who is currently out of contract.

Squads are made up of mainly UK athletes but each side is allowed to register two non-EU players. However, these players cannot play in the same third of the court at the same time in any game. For example, Team Bath Netball’s imports for 2020 were South African mid-courter Khanyisa Chawane and Australian goal shooter Kim Commane.

Teams must also submit nine players who fit within the league’s salary caps rules and can therefore register one additional marquee player who sits outside of the salary cap.

All players must be at least 16 years old at 5pm on the closing date of player registrations.

What were the key signings from last year?

Although the 2020 campaign was short-lived, many signings made during the previous window certainly made some serious headlines.

Vitality Netball Superleague champion Liana Leota notably made the switch from Manchester Thunder to Severn Stars, Vitality Netball World Cup 2019’s Sigrid Burger left Surrey Storm for London Pulse, and Commonwealth Games winner Jodie Gibson joining Saracens Mavericks.

You can find out more about these signings and more in our rundown of the five best 2020 signing window deals here.

Have there already been any outgoings?

While the transfer has only just begun, there have several player departures. In July, four-time VNSL winner Hannah Knights retired from the sport while long-term teammate and two-time champion Katy Hughes followed suit a month later.

Similarly, Lorraine Kowalewska also issued her own retirement statement after more than a decade in the Superleague with Celtic Dragons and Surrey Storm. It was also announced by Surrey Storm that Sophie Hankin – previously of Saracens Mavericks – also departed the side in July in order to coach in Dubai.

Where can I keep up to date with all signings?

For all the latest of signings during the window, make sure to follow the @NetballSL on Twitter and Instagram.

On Twitter, you’ll be able to keep across the ins and outs with our 2021 signing window Twitter Moment. For specific club news, be sure to be across all eleven of our teams on their respective social media accounts.

We will also be covering each signing in full on our website and are offering a comprehensive overview of 2021 squads on our Transfers page. Don’t miss out!

Make sure you’re following @NetballSL on Twitter and Instagram. You can also sign up for the VNSL Newsletter to stay up to date with news, tickets and transfers!

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