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Kyra Jones

Kyra Jones announces Superleague retirement

Kyra Jones, Celtic Dragons centre, has announced that she will be retiring from Vitality Superleague netball as of the end of the season.

Jones has been a Celtic Dragons player since the 2009/10 season, spending her whole Superleague career with the Welsh franchise, with the exception of 2015 when she spent a season over the bridge at Team Bath.  She started her career with Celtic Dragons as an ‘import player’ before qualifying to represent her adopted nation of Wales in the 2011/12 season. In her time with Dragons, Kyra has played in excess of 150 Superleague matches and has over 50 Wales caps to her name.

As well as representing Wales in numerous Netball Europe tournaments, international tours, the 2015 Netball World Cup and 2014 & 2018 Commonwealth Games, she also played a leading role in Celtic Dragons’ grand final season in 2013.

Announcing her imminent retirement, Kyra wrote: “It is with heavy heart that I announce my retirement from the Celtic Dragons and the Superleague.

“It is amazing to think that had I not started as an import player, I would have never had come over, met my husband and stayed to play in this netball league! It has been a whirlwind of a journey and one I am very proud to say I have thoroughly enjoyed.

“From the highs and lows of each season:  injuries, selection, non-selection, meeting new people and making friends for life, it has been a pleasure to be a part of and I can’t thank Celtic Dragons enough for their continued support over the past 10 years.

“I have been toying with the idea for some time now and feel this is the right time to step away. My heart and mind would continue until I am old and grey, however my body says otherwise

“For now though, it is time to continue what I started and finish this season on a high.”

Reflecting on Kyra’s announcement, Tania Hoffman, Celtic Dragons head coach said: “Kyra has been a vital member of the Celtic Dragons franchise for many years. Her desire to continually challenge herself is one of the aspects I admire her for and is something that younger players can learn from her.

“Kyra is and will continue to be a great role model for the netball community. She will be missed next season and we wish her all the best in her retirement.”

Kyra’s final home game (subject to selection) will be Saturday 27 April against Surrey Storm and her final Superleague match (again, subject to selection) will be Saturday 4 May at Loughborough Lightning.

Although stepping down from Superleague netball, Kyra remains a member of the Wales senior long squad.

Fans have two final opportunities to see Kyra in action at home. Tickets for our remaining home games against Strathclyde Sirens (13 April) and Surrey Storm (27 April) can be purchased via celticdragonsnetball.ticketline.co.uk

A copy of Kyra’s full retirement announcement can be found here: http://www.celticdragonsnetball.com/2019/04/05/kyra-jones-retirement-announcement/

Tickets are now available for the Vitality Netball Superleague Big Easter Weekend!

Make sure you’re following the Vitality Netball Superleague on Twitter for the latest news and updates!

Image credit: Sporting Wales

CARDIFF, WALES - MAY 14:  Kyra Jones of the Celtic Dragons takes on Beth Cobden of Loughborough Lightning during the Vitality Netball Superleague match between Celtic Dragons and Loughborough Lightning at the Sport Wales National Centre on May 14, 2018 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Dragons announce first four players

Celtic Dragons have announced their first four squad members ahead of the 2019 Vitality Netball Superleague campaign.

Suzy Drane, who captained the franchise last year will be returning to the franchise, along with Kyra Jones who marked her 50th Wales cap in the latest season.

Drane, who works as a Senior Lecturer at Cardiff Met tweeted her excitement at the coming season: “Very excited to be given an opportunity to play for [the] franchise again in 2019 […] looking forward to working with some new & returning faces both on & off the court & relishing the challenge of the season ahead!”

They are joined by ‘pocket-rocket’ Bethan Dyke, who was last seen at the Commonwealth Games, and Chelsea Lewis who returns to the franchise having played for Team Bath.

Lewis, who starred in Wales’ 81-32 demolition of Fiji at the Commonwealth Games also shared her thoughts on the season ahead: “So excited to be joining the Celtic Dragons for the 2019 season. Looking forward to working with a brand new coach and a brand new Dragons team.”

Following the news of a first-ever dedicated coach, new training facilities at Cardiff Metropolitan University and the biggest-ever teamwear deal in Welsh netball history with O’Neills, there has been great excitement around the franchise.

The first reveal of player signings is the next step on the road to VNSL 2019 which begins with Dragons taking on Team Bath at Super 10 in Birmingham.

Tickets are now on sale for Super 10 – get your squad together and head to the season opener on Saturday 5th January 2019 at Arena Birmingham!

Kyra Jones

Kyra Jones – Featured Player of the Week

Kyra Jones is one of the most experienced Celtic Dragons players, stamping her authority on the centre bib since returning from a stint with Team Bath.

Jones was brought up in Perth, Western Australia and managed to win an award in 2006, naming her as the best player in the West Australian Netball League in her time playing for the Perth Orioles.

When she came over to play in the Superleague in 2009, Jones was known as Kyra Neal, but soon after her arrival in Wales she met Welshman Scott Jones – and the rest is history!

After she settled in the UK, it was only a short period of time before she made her international debut for Wales and her first cap came against Northern Ireland in 2012 at Netball Europe.

She’s now gone on to represent her adopted country more than 30 times.

Jones returned to Dragons for the 2016 season after joining Team Bath in 2014 for a short stint with the five-time Superleague champions.

Not only is she an asset to the Dragons side but she also impresses on the international stage – she was named Welsh Netball player of the year in 2012.

This season, Jones has proven herself to be the linchpin in the centre court for Dragons, and will be looking to push for a strong finish to the Vitality Netball Superleague season with three games to go.