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Wasps’ Mansfield: “They did themselves proud”

Wasps Netball secured a clean sweep in a pre-season Tri Tournament as they continue their preparations for the upcoming Vitality Netball Superleague campaign.

It marked the first time Mel Mansfield had led her team as Head Coach at the Ricoh Arena, overcoming London Pulse and Team Bath in a packed afternoon of netball.

The tournament saw the debut of new side London Pulse, with the new season getting underway in January 2019.

Mansfield was particularly impressed with the performance of her young players in their first appearance at the Ricoh.

“It was really good run out for us. I was particularly pleased with how we performed against Bath – we really stepped it up a gear,” said Mansfield.

“We were able to get some of our young players some good court time too, which is great experience for them. They did themselves proud against strong opposition.

“Defensively we were just brilliant, but this is by no means the finished product yet. It was good to be able to work out what our priorities need to be before our first fixture in January.

“Fran Williams played at Wing Defence, which was new for her, but I think she did really well. She is turning into an important, senior player for us.

“It was good to be back out at the Ricoh Arena too. The atmosphere was great and was the perfect opportunity for our new signings to get a taste of what playing in front of our home crowd is like.”

Wasps started the afternoon with their encounter against London Pulse.

The black-and-gold’s enjoyed a fast start, rushing out to an early three goal advantage and securing a six goal lead by the end of the first quarter.

A duo of flying intercepts, from Hannah Knights and Amy Flanagan, set the tone for the second quarter, as Wasps built a double-digit lead.

Mansfield’s side continued to shine in the second half, building a big lead to run out eventual 41-26 winners.

In the afternoon’s second fixture, Team Bath met London Pulse. Pulse again struggled to get into their rhythm as Bath took the lead early.

By half-time the game was all but decided, with Bath leading 27-13. The impressive display from Bath continued in the final two quarters, winning 44-29.

The final game of the afternoon saw a rematch of last season’s Vitality Netball Superleague semi-final with Wasps against Team Bath.

Bath took the lead early, but were pegged back by sharpshooter Rachel Dunn. It was end-to-end throughout the first quarter, with Wasps edging it 9-6.

The visitors fought back and by half-time had reduced the deficit to just one goal. Wasps took control after the break, with two quick-fire goals giving them the momentum.

The home side had built a ten goal lead mid-way through the final quarter. Bath attempted to mount a comeback, but the home side stood strong, winning 36-28.

Wasps Netball season tickets are now general sale for the Vitality Netball Superleague 2019 season. To find out more visit https://www.waspsnetball.co.uk/season-membership

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!

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Mel Mansfield appointed as Wasps Head Coach

Mel Mansfield has been appointed as Wasps Netball’s new Head Coach.
The decision comes after Wasps won their second successive league title with a 55-51 win against Loughborough Lightning in the Vitality Netball Superleague Grand Final at the Copper Box Arena.
Tamsin Greenway will step down as Wasps Director of Netball but will remain with the Vitality Netball Superleague champions as a netball coach and brand ambassador.
Mansfield has more than 16 years of coaching experience and has been assistant coach for the senior team for the past two years, helping the club to become a major force in the domestic game.
She has coached in the Vitality Netball Superleague for nine years, including coaching in five Grand Finals.
Mansfield is also a senior lecturer in radiography at the University of Hertfordshire, where she also guided their netball team to BUCS national title success.
The university will be supporting Mansfield to allow her to take on the role at Wasps.
Mansfield said: “To take on a team that has just won back-to-back titles is no easy task. I’m well aware of the pressure that comes with this role but I’m excited.
“This is a step-up. I will be more accountable now but I’m confident we will contend strongly again next season.
“It’s always been important for me to keep my career going alongside netball, so I have to thank the University of Hertfordshire for their support in making this possible.
“Tamsin will always be at the end of the phone but this is a really nice feeling to know that this will be my group now.
“Next season’s team might look a bit different and we’ll have some new faces in the coaching team, but the important thing is the team culture we have at Wasps will stay the same.”
Team Manager Sarah Taylor has also been promoted to Franchise Manager and will take on a new strategic role with Wasps.
She added: “I’m really looking forward to taking on a more strategic role, whilst maintaining my hands on involvement with the squad.
“The first two seasons with Wasps have been phenomenal and I’m excited to work with Mel, Tamsin and our physio Andrew Holbrook to keep building on our success both on and off the court.
“We are fortunate to have such close links with Wasps Rugby and along with the support of the team at the Ricoh Arena, Wasps Netball will be looking to grow what we have worked so hard to set up over the past two years.”
Greenway, who was appointed as Wasps Director of Netball in June 2016, commented: “I will still have a role with Wasps but it is time for me to take a step back and enjoy what we have achieved over the past two seasons.
“Sarah has had a huge impact at Wasps. She has a vast knowledge of the sport and her understanding of the elite level of the game has grown and grown. The team love her and she is vital to pushing the team forward.
“I have worked with Mel for a long time and this is a great opportunity for her to work with the fantastic team we have here, she will relish the challenge and I’m looking forward to seeing how she takes the team to next level.”