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The First Interview: Airey has Stars in her eyes

Rebekah Airey has stars in her eyes for the start of the Superleague season.

Joining Severn Stars from Leeds Rhinos, the defender has expressed a nervous delight for her new challenge and proving her netball talent.

Furthermore, Airey is eager to earn her place in a tough squad by demonstrating her skills to new head coach Jo Trip.

“I think everyone who ever switches teams always has that underlying excitement in part,” said the 26-year-old.

“I definitely want to try and prove to everybody in the past and in the future that I’m worth my weight.

“I’m going to keep my same work ethic and I’ve spoken to Jo already who’s very similar to me in that she will always go off what you’re working as and your performance.

“If I’m not doing what I need to do she’ll switch me round which is good and what a coach should be doing. I’m looking forward to it!”

Teasing her squad’s summer signings, Airey noted depth in strength across Stars this season, an element that allows team spirit to thrive.

She added: “One of the things I’m most excited about is that our bench can be rotated very easily, especially on the defence side.

“If there’s anybody who can do a better job we will just switch it, not as a personal thing but for the team which is what I prefer to be: a team player.

“I think Surrey this season will be a very interesting team but you can’t really rule out anybody, there’s been a lot of change.”

After four years at Loughborough Lightning, two years at Manchester Thunder and a recent season at Leeds Rhinos, Airey knows her way around a netball court.

But her love of the sport has never faltered, known for her enigmatic and down-to-earth mentality as she constantly uplifts those on her team and around her.

But the defender claimed that it’s just natural instinct that motivates her on the netball court, with an attitude of a champion.

She said: “I don’t go out of my way to be pumped, it’s just the natural way I react to things.

“It’s how I would want other people to react to me, if I give a pass away or something I will get in my own head so saying ‘come on next one, let’s go’, you focus on the next thing straight away.

“In a netball game, there’s not much time to dwell on what you could have done better or should have done better you just have to focus on the next thing.”

Although Airey is only 26 years old, the Stars signing has her sights set on becoming a voice for the future of the sport.

The defender has a not-too-distant vision of a fully funded league that rivals the likes of football and rugby and is eager to help the next generation of netballers achieve their dreams.

She said: “Being part of the netball journey is amazing but I know that I will be a stepping-stone for the generation behind myself.

“There are so many things that have got so much better and I want to continue to try and push netball further.

“It’s one of my aims potentially towards the end of my career to improve netball.

“It’s something to watch and get behind and when we get the financial backing I think we will start rivalling some other sporting teams, especially internationally.”

Follow @NetballSL on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok or subscribe to our newsletter for the latest Vitality Netball Superleague news.

For news on all of the latest signings during the window, make sure to follow the @NetballSL on TwitterInstagram and subscribe to our newsletter.

On Twitter, you’ll be able to keep across the ins and outs with our 2023 Signing Window Twitter Moment. For specific club news, be sure to be across all eleven of our teams on their respective social media accounts and subscribe to our List.

We will also be covering each signing in full on our website, offering weekly round-ups and are offering a comprehensive overview of 2023 squads on our Transfers page. Don’t miss out!

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