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Kira Rothwell

Self-professed ‘netball geek’ Kira Rothwell fully understands the magnitude of a summer switch between two Vitality Netball Superleague rivals.

But if the 21-year-old is to realise her Roses’ ambitions, she knows a move across town is necessary.

Rothwell rose through the London Pulse junior pathway before making her debut for Sam Bird’s side in 2019, eventually helping the team secure a third-placed league finish last term.

However, with limited minutes for the Copper Box outfit, the starlet was keen to ensure her development and announced a switch to rivals Saracens Mavericks where she hopes to have more time on court to show what she’s made of.

“I’ve had an amazing run with London Pulse,” Rothwell said. “They started off my Superleague career, and they’ve done so much for me, but I didn’t quite get the court time I wanted last year.

“My aspirations are to get into the Roses [squad] and compete for the Roses and to do that, I need to be on court more.

“Obviously, it’s hard because up until now, my heart has always been with Pulse and so I don’t want to do anything against them.

“I just thought about where the best opportunity would be, where I thought I would be valued, and I would get the best coaching and I decided that Saracens was the place.”

The promising attacker scored 58 goals in her 22 appearances for a team which finished the regular season behind eventual Grand Finalists Manchester Thunder and Loughborough Lightning before suffering an agonising 56-44 semi-final defeat to the latter in Leicestershire.

Rothwell, who conceded there would be no guarantees her switch would yield the game time she desires, is earmarked as a future Rose and was reselected into the futures programme for 2022/23, where she aims to assert herself on the big stage.

“I think this year is going to be really exciting because there’s a lot of opportunities,” she added. “Both for the Roses first team and the futures.

“We have a lot of double competitions, where you have an England A squad as well so I’m hoping to get some more international experience at a senior level.

“We’re still waiting to hear what sort of squads will be selected and when they’ll be selected so I don’t know too much yet.

“But I’m hoping for some senior experience and pushing towards the Roses next year.”

Her new club side had earlier announced former assistant Camilla Buchanan as new head coach at the end of last season while Tamsin Greenway joined the organisation as head of strategic development.

The move saw the Hatfield outfit join fellow Superleague sides Strathclyde Sirens and Manchester Thunder in creating those two distinct leadership positions which Rothwell revealed played a key role in her arrival at Herts Sports Village.

She added: “[Buchanan] has been incredible.

“Her and Tamsin [Greenway] approached me the first day the signing window opened, and I was like ‘wow, they actually really want me, this is a place I want to go because I’ll be able to grow here’

“I always have loads of questions, I like planning, so I’m sending [Buchanan] loads of stuff about schedules and she’s just always getting back to me, so a really positive start.”

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