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Yasmin Parsons: “For us it’s fantastic because we want the netball community to witness netball in this competitive way”

Vitality Netball SuperLeague Opener 2020

Yasmin Parsons is ready to put a rollercoaster year behind her as she aims to lead Surrey Storm to a top four finish in the Vitality Netball Superleague.

The two-time Superleague champions won their last title in 2016 but since then have failed to make the semi-finals.

Storm start their 2021 campaign against London Pulse at Production Park Studio 001 in Wakefield, which will stage the first nine weeks of matches before the teams head to London’s Copper Box Arena for the remainder.

But though Parsons is targeting their best finish in five seasons, she also just wants her side to be able to enjoy the experience of playing elite netball again.

“Surrey Storm’s hope for the season, this particular one which has been a bit crazy, is that we’re definitely aiming for top four,” Parsons said.

“I think that’s always been a main priority for us, but we also understand that this league is a bit crazy in terms of the double-header weekends and playing back-to-back which we’re not used to and the different format.

“Sometimes we just don’t know which team we’re going to come up against, which players they might have and what our team might look like with COVID in our lives all the time.

“It’s a great opportunity to get back out there, enjoy our sport and show our netball fans what they’ve been missing and how hard we’ve been training for this season.”

The 27-year-old Parsons also works as a PE teacher alongside her netball career.

Virtual teaching is something Parsons has become accustomed to and she is still managing to balance training for Storm alongside her day job.

But it hasn’t just been teaching and training for the centre, who at the backend of last year also went on tour to New Zealand with the Vitality Roses, and she kicked off 2021 being part of the All Stars team in the Vitality Netball Legends Series.

And after playing with many stars of the Superleague in January, Storm’s captain is hoping she can use that experience when facing those players this season.

“I really enjoyed playing for the All Stars in January and I got to play with some international players that I probably won’t ever play with,” she explained.

“To play with different styles of netball, but also to go up against my own teammates in the England squad. That was a fantastic way to end 2020 and start 2021.

“We pushed England in a few games in a few quarters. With my Surrey Storm cap on, I was able to look at those players and suss out what their style is and what they bring to the season this year playing in the Superleague season.

“It was good insight to know what their strengths and weaknesses are and hopefully when we come up against them in the season it will be really competitive.

“Now we’re going to get the ball rolling with the Superleague season.”

Surrey have strengthened their side this season with the addition of Zimbabwe captain Felisitus Kwangwa and Northern Ireland international Emma Magee.

A landmark broadcast deal will see every Vitality Netball Superleague match this season televised by Sky Sports, with Parsons wanting to repay the Storm fans for their support.

She added: “For us it’s fantastic because we want the netball community to witness netball in this competitive way.

“After the Commonwealth Games, we finally got that message out there that we are netball and we’re strong, athletic women and it encompasses the whole female sport and what we’re made of.

“Sky did a great job at replaying some of the old matches and when the New Zealand matches and Legends matches were streamed, it was fantastic the support you get from social media is wild just from having netball on the screens and people being able to watch and support.

“We’ve got die-hard fans who belong to that Superleague franchise and they want to see those teams playing and competing, they’re there supporting and backing them every single step of the way.
“We want to go out there and show them what we’ve been doing behind the scenes and how hard we’ve been training.”

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