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Gia Abernethy of the Vitality Netball Superleague All Stars.

Strathclyde Sirens captain Gia Abernethy was announced as a member of the Vitality Netball Superleague All Stars squad yesterday.

The Australian is a member of a strong squad of 13 ready to take on the Vitality Roses in the Vitality Netball Legends Series this week.

Abernethy’s side take on the hosts in three games in Loughborough on 20, 22 and 24 January 2020. All matches will be live on Sky Sports’ YouTube channel.

The 26-year-old has been busy preparing for the upcoming 2021 VNSL season with Scottish side Sirens but has relished the opportunity to be part of the All Stars squad.

“It’s so exciting! When Karen rang me, I was a little bit in shock that I got the call-up and got invited. I thought I’d say yes before they had chance to change their minds! It feels real now. We’ve had our first session and just can’t wait for round one,” she said.

“Players like Caroline [O’Hanlon] and Liana [Leota] you organise game plans strategically to play against them because they’re such powerhouses. To now be in the midcourt with them is quite exciting and I can’t wait to see them in action.”

The former Adelaide Thunderbirds star has only been training with her teammates for a few days and is going into the series, in honour of England legend Jean Hornsby, aiming to enjoy the moment.

This is the first time an All Star VNSL side has been put together and is giving Abernethy the chance to play with the likes of Severn Stars’ Liana Leota and Loughborough Lightning’s Natalie Panagarry among others.

“It’s a funny mix of actually taking this court time as experience and learning, but just enjoying it,” said Abernethy.

“Some of the names I’m in the team with are just absolute superstars of the game so making sure I just enjoy this week but also maximising this chance to get on court and just test some stuff before the season starts.”

Over the coming days, Abernethy will take on Jess Thirlby’s Vitality Roses side who were set to play Jamaica instead this month.

England have brought a strong squad to Loughborough and will be aiming to secure three wins from three this week.

The Strathclyde Sirens mid-courter, though, believes the All Stars should challenge the 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup bronze medallists with the squad Head Coach Karen Greig has at her disposal.

“I honestly can’t wait. All the people we’ve spoken to have said that they can’t wait to see the results, she said.

“I think the team we’ve got on paper, we should really, really challenge them (the Vitality Roses) and take it to them, so obviously I’m really excited for the first match.”

Watch the first game on Sky Sports Arena and Mix on Wednesday 20 January from 5:30pm. All matches will also be streamed on the Sky Sports YouTube channel.

A huge thank you to everyone for making the Vitality Netball Legends Series happen and the continued support from all of our partners during these challenging times.

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