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16.05.22 - Celtic Dragons v Team Bath - Vitality Netball Super League -

Chelsea Beard is bubbling with emotions after announcing her sensational return to Celtic Dragons for the 2023 Vitality Netball Superleague season.

The 28-year-old shooter considered giving up playing elite-level netball after the birth of her two sons but will now pull on the green dress for the first time since 2019.

Beard (née Lewis), who married Wales international rugby player Adam in the summer, made her Superleague debut for the Cardiff club in 2010 at the age of 17.

And after three years away, Beard is feeling like the same shy teenager, full of apprehension and anticipation but eager to get stuck in.

“We start in October time so I’ll be like a new kid at school,” said Beard. “I’m really excited.

“Initially, I thought I was done. After having two kids, I didn’t think it would be possible for me to come back.

“For me, it’s a bonus to even be in this position. I’m just trying to enjoy being back in there.

“Now the announcement’s out, it’s actually becoming real to me that I’m here, I’ve signed and I’m going to be back in the environment.

“It’s exciting, nerve-wracking, a real mix of emotions because I’ve not been there for two years and actually being back as a mother this time, it’s going to be so different.

“It’s probably going to take a while to get used to juggling it all. But I’m pretty confident we’re going to nail it. Fingers crossed!”

Beard brings a wealth of experience to the Celtic Dragons squad, having won back-to-back European Netball Championships with Wales before she turned 21.

A year later, at the 2015 World Cup, she became the youngest Wales international to gain 50 senior caps.

She was recalled to the national squad in 2021, just two months after giving birth to her youngest son Liam, but is holding fire on committing to the World Cup next year.

“I don’t think I’m going to make any rash decisions. I don’t think I’m in a position to say yes at the moment,” said Beard.

“I will take it one step at a time. I haven’t said no to anything. I’m just going to see how it all goes. It’s a lot juggling two kids and professional sports.”

For the time being, Beard’s full focus is on helping the Dragons improve on a 10th-place finish last season.

She said: “It’s a really good blend this year with the Dragons. They’ve done a really good job in capturing youth and experience.

“A lot of the girls were there last year and hopefully us newbies coming in this year can add to that and get them a few more wins on the board.

“They were building towards the end of last year and the key thing for us would be to keep that consistency going. If we can keep building like they were last year, I think we’ll be in a very good place.”

“Watching them from the sidelines, I’ve really enjoyed to see how far they’ve come.

“So I’m really excited to be back in that mix now, get in with the girls and get going.”

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