Tag: jodie gibson

Netball fantasy teams: VNSL Roses v. VNSL International All Stars

FOLLOWING the huge success of the thrilling Diamonds vs All Stars Bushfire Relief game in March, it got us thinking about another hypothetical exhibition match, with international Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) players facing up to the top England Roses squad members who are currently plying their trade in the UK.

VNSL Roses:

GK: Razia Quashie (Saracens Mavericks)
GD: Fran Williams (Wasps Netball)
WD: Laura Malcolm (Manchester Thunder)
C: Jade Clarke (Wasps Netball)
WA: Gabby Marshall (Saracens Mavericks)
GA: Ellie Cardwell (Manchester Thunder)
GS: George Fisher (Saracens Mavericks)

BENCH: Sophie Drakeford-Lewis (Team Bath), Nat Panagarry (Loughborough Lightning), Jodie Gibson (Saracens Mavericks)

This Roses fantasy squad has a huge amount of experience and depth across all areas of the court. In the 2020 Netball Nations Cup, we saw the emergence of a new England shooting partnership between Ellie Cardwell and George Fisher – nicknamed “Fishwell”. Whilst Cardwell is usually seen wearing the goal shooter bib, in goal attack she opened up the shooting circle nicely for Fisher and can sink a sweet long bomb herself. This partnership would certainly give any defensive lineup a lot of headaches, especially given Fisher’s clever footwork and shooting accuracy. Sophie Drakeford-Lewis also plays more of the traditional goal attack role with her speed and strong drives and could provide another look for the shooting end. Whilst Drakeford-Lewis is at the beginning of her international career, she would be well supported in this lineup. She is likely to become a key option for England in the future – especially given she can also move into wing attack if needed, much like a versatile Nat Haythornthwaite or Kiera Austin.

In the midcourt, a balance of experience and youth creates this formidable unit. Youngster Gabby Marshall has great vision at wing attack and can keep any wing defence busy so they don’t go looking for trouble. Marshall is backed up by the veteran Jade Clarke who can keep a cool head in the middle and dictate play with ease. Tenacious tagger Laura Malcolm completes this midcourt lineup. Though she spent some time away from the England setup, her recent performances in the red dress have been outstanding. Nat Panagarry proved herself capable at the Netball World Cup 2019, showing that she is a confident team-player and can have an impact when needed. She has a good read of the game and her infectious energy can really lift a team.

The defensive end is where this team gets exciting. Whilst you have the reliable and gutsy Fran Williams out the front causing havoc, you also have one of the most threatening defenders coming up the England ranks in Razia Quashie at the back. Whilst Quashie is not the tallest defender in the game, she clearly has the athletic ability and pure strength to be a game-changer. With this defensive end, the difficulty may be the partnerships. As we saw in the Bushfire Relief game, putting two defending superstars out on court together doesn’t always mean they gel easily. I would love to see this combination out on court for England more as Quashie and Williams have such complementary styles of play. Given time together they could become a lethal partnership. Jodie Gibson is another versatile and experienced defender, providing a sparky and reliable option at the back should the defensive end need to change tactics.

VNSL International All Stars:

GK: Zanele Vimbela (Sirens, SA)
GD: Latanya Wilson (Dragons, JAM)
WD: Nia Jones (Stars, WAL)
C: Caroline O’Hanlon (Thunder, NI)
WA: Liana Leota (Stars, NZ)
GA: Alexia Baker (Wasps, AUS)
GS: Sigi Burger (Pulse, SA)

BENCH: Kim Commane (Bath, AUS), Adean Thomas (Pulse, JAM), Jo Trip (Mavericks, NZ)

This International All Stars side is undoubtedly stacked with talent. At the shooting end, it’s hard to ignore the threat of Sigi Burger under the post, given her 98% shooting average after three rounds of the 2020 VNSL Season. New to the VNSL, Alexia Baker is no stranger to high-quality netball, having been a Queensland Firebirds training partner. She knows how to feed a holding shooter like Burger and can also provide a solid option to goal. Kim Commane had an outstanding start to the 2020 season, ending up in the top five goal scorers, and she provides another different style of play to keep the defenders guessing. While this shooting end has very few international caps between them, these players have demonstrated their skills domestically and wouldn’t shy away from an opportunity on a bigger stage.

Liana Leota is a typical wing attack, extremely crafty and with a wealth of tools in her arsenal to feed the goal circle effectively. In the centre position, Caroline O’Hanlon is so impressive, not only due to her insane fitness but also her defensive pressure and a cool head. Leota and O’Hanlon combined effectively to secure Manchester Thunder’s Grand Final win last season, and could easily replicate this successful chemistry. Supported by Nia Jones in wing defence, the position where she is arguably her strongest, this midcourt unit would have no issues with transition play and swift goal conversion. Adean Thomas has also demonstrated her flair and skill, both at the VNSL and for Jamaica. Thomas is unpredictable, exciting and would be a great impact player in this lineup.

In the defensive circle, Latanya Wilson has been compared to a young Shamera Sterling and this glowing comparison is not undue. Wilson has fantastic aerial ability and was sitting on 14 intercepts when the VNSL was cancelled. This was just one behind the leader in Quashie, and Wilson racked up this impressive tally despite the fact she was suspended for one game due to dangerous play. Whilst discipline is an area to improve on, her surprising gameplay and rangy limbs would be a valuable asset in goal defence for the All Stars. Teaming up with Wilson is South African, Zanele Vimbela. Vimbela has proven her worth internationally and is surely next in line to the goal keeper bib for South Africa after Phumza Maweni. She is a fearless defender who attacks the ball and provides consistent pressure to unnerve the opposition feeders. Able to cover both positions effectively is Mavericks stalwart Jo Trip. Her height and experience mean she can make a difference in close games and would be a valuable addition to the All Stars.

Who would win?

The International All Stars have a tremendous amount of talent and a really diverse range of playing styles. However, the Roses consistency and familiarity with each other would most likely mean they would take the win. The battle would be lost and won in the midcourt, as the two sides are fairly evenly matched at both ends – with the Roses’ shooting circle slightly superior to the All Stars’. This would be a great spectacle of VNSL talent, but it’s likely the Roses would be able to edge out the All Stars.

What if… the next England International window clashed with the VNSL?

WITH ongoing uncertainty around the timing of future international fixtures for the Roses, Draft Central considers what would happen if England matches overlapped with the upcoming 2021 Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) season. Which teams would find they had key players missing from their starting lineups, and which youngsters could take the opportunity to show what they are made of? The below is purely opinion-based, with a potential England squad based on recent selections. Unsurprisingly, the top five teams from last year would be the most heavily impacted if their Roses were called away on International duty.

Loughborough Lightning struggled when gutsy midcourter, captain and Vitality Rose Nat Panagarry was injured during the first game of the 2020 season. She provides a ton of experience to an otherwise fairly junior Lightning lineup. This lack of leadership on court, unfortunately, showed in their 14 goal loss to Team Bath at the season opener, and a narrow loss to Manchester Thunder two rounds later. The likes of Jess Shaw and Hannah Williams were required to step up to replace their captain and provide a link through court. Whilst they demonstrated plenty of zip and confidence in attack, Loughborough still missed the dogged defence of Panagarry during these games and would likely suffer as a result if she were to be absent again in the future.

Next, we take a look at reigning champions Manchester ThunderEllie Cardwell and Laura Malcolm both proved they deserve court time in the red dress during the 2020 Netball Nations Cup and would be high on the list for England selection. Luckily for Thunder, they have a fantastic goal shooter in Malawi international Joyce Mvula, who maintained 87 per cent accuracy in the opening rounds of the 2020 season. Thunder would certainly miss Cardwell’s clever footwork and ability to shoot from range, however Mvula provides a strong and reliable option. Manchester also has a tenacious midcourter in Amy Carter, who is capable of switching between centre and wing defence with ease. She provides a huge amount of energy and defensive pressure through court and could easily slide into the gap left by Malcolm. In the next few years, we will surely see this exciting youngster earn a starting spot in the Roses, and fingers crossed in Season 2021 she will benefit from further court time.

One team that would be heavily impacted by a scheduling clash is the talent stacked Saracens Mavericks. They are peppered with Roses talent across all three areas of the court, from George Fisher to Gabby Marshall, not to mention Jodie Gibson and Razia Quashie. Losing a holding shooter of the calibre of Fisher, even for one match, would heap pressure on someone like Kadeen Corbin to provide a clear option in the goal circle. In the midcourt, Marshall is an engine and provides support to Sasha Corbin and Georgia Lees, often coming on as an impact player. Although we haven’t seen Gibson on court for Mavericks yet due to injury, she will no doubt become a starting defender next season. Losing gold medal winner Gibson to England duties, combined with the absence of Quashie, would be a huge loss for Mavs. Quashie collected the highest tally of intercepts in the first three rounds and without her Jo Trip would have to bear a heavier defensive load than she is used to.

In contrast, Team Bath has a wealth of depth and experience across the squad. Despite starting the 2020 season without Serena Guthrie or Eboni Usuro-Brown the youngsters in this side have already proved they can step up when their big names are away. Co-captains Summer Artman and Kim Commane are rock solid, supported by versatile Fi Toner and exciting South African international Khanyisa Chawane. Not to mention Imogen Allison who really rose to the challenge in the first three games of 2020 and proved she has a bright future ahead. Artman and Allison have cemented themselves as future Roses, and after a fantastic start to 2020 they will be looking forward to plenty of court time next season.

Wasps Netball is another team that benefits from an experienced lineup. Although in this scenario they would most likely be without Fran Williams (who ranks in the top five for intercepts and deflections), the likes of Hannah Knights and Josie Huckle both have an excellent read of the game and the athleticism to back it up. The main issue would be if Wasps were without England veterans Jade Clarke and Rachel Dunn. Dunn has won more domestic titles than Geva Mentor and Clarke has over 170 caps for England. Wasps would struggle without these two game changers and whilst Katie Harris and Amy Flanagan have plenty of Superleague experience between them, it is likely the team would still miss the impact of the seasoned duo of Clarke and Dunn.

Celtic DragonsLondon PulseSevern StarsStrathclyde Sirens and Surrey Storm don’t currently have players in their squad who would be likely to be called up for England selection. However, the World Youth Cup is scheduled for June 2021. If all squads stay the same, Pulse would be missing several key bench players including Kira RothwellFunmi Fadoju and Olivia Tchine. This will certainly be something for Superleague coaches to consider when choosing how to balance their squads for next season.

VNSL Cancelled: What will it mean for the future of UK netball?

DUE to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic, England Netball has announced that the 2020 Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) season, which has been suspended since March, will not resume. The reaction from players and clubs is generally sympathetic, acknowledging the challenges involved in restarting the league as well as the need to prioritise personal health and safety. However, some clubs have expressed frustration that the VNSL could not reach a more positive outcome. Whilst the suggestion of a potential Autumn tournament has presented a glimmer of hope for fans, the situation remains uncertain. Both the Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) and ANZ Premiership have announced that their seasons are going ahead, making the news even more disappointing for Superleague players and fans.

Why was the VNSL cancelled?

Netball in the UK is semi-professional and depends heavily on ticket sales. Travel restrictions are still in place, and large crowds remain out of the question. The UK is still a long way behind Australia and New Zealand when it comes to TV revenue and sponsorship deals. This means the cost of putting on Superleague games without fans is not financially viable for franchises. Clubs rely on public venues (such as sports centres and universities) for training and matches; there is still a big question mark around when these will open again. Player contracts are due to end in July, and clubs would struggle to pay players all year round. Also, resuming matches so late would have a knock-on effect on the scheduled start of the 2021 season in February. England Netball was facing mounting pressure to make a decision, and after weighing up the options, chose to cancel. 

What is the impact?

The main issue facing England Netball now is how to avoid losing the momentum gained after the Netball World Cup in 2019. The challenge they face is maintaining public interest in domestic netball, which will be absent for almost a full year. It’s an undeniable step away from the aim of professionalising the sport in the UK.

Although England Netball says the decision was taken to “protect the long term future of all VNSL teams”, there is a real chance that some clubs may not make it. For franchises, the financial impact of a cancelled season is already beginning to show. Saracens Mavericks have started a fundraising page to raise £50,000 (around A$90,000) to keep the club afloat, while Manchester Thunder has also put out a call-to-action to donate ticket refunds to the club.

Youngsters like Sigi Burger who were hoping to stand out this season and be picked up in the future by the ANZ/SSN will now have to patiently wait another few years. Players who were considering retirement will have to decide if they want to carry on for another season or call it a day without their last dance. The news will be especially disheartening for teams such as London Pulse, Manchester Thunder, and Team Bath who started the season looking extremely strong, and will be left wondering what might have been. Leeds Rhinos are due to enter the Superleague for the 2021 season, however, they won’t be able to sign new players based on recent performance. This could leave the brand new team at a disadvantage before they even get out of the gate.

Hope on the horizon?

England Netball has offered a glimmer of hope for an Autumn competition of some kind, but it’s still too far away to know what that will look like. The top eight teams from the league are usually eligible for the British Fast5 All-Stars tournament each October. Could an option be to expand a Fast5 style tournament for all ten teams later on in the year? This would at least give players some court time, especially with the Quad Series cancelled and other international fixtures unlikely to take place soon.

Fans, players and support staff will, of course, be disappointed that the Superleague will not be taking place, but the health and wellbeing of all involved should always be the top priority. In any case, it is a relief to be released from the limbo of the past two months. Franchises have been using this opportunity to get creative with their social media engagement, with Loughborough Lightning even putting out a free 4-week Performance Analysis course on their website. Superleague clubs are proving they are innovative, flexible, and dedicated to promoting netball whatever the weather. It’s also a chance for athletes who picked up injuries, such as Jodie Gibson and Nat Panagarry, to have an extended rehab period without missing out on game time. UK fans will still be able to watch the ANZ and SSN seasons play out. The VNSL can use this time to learn from the examples set by these professional leagues, and make the most of this opportunity to rebuild and strategise for the future of UK netball.

Draft Central’s Top 25 International Young Guns countdown – #21/#20

WITH a number of netball leagues across the world being suspended due to COVID-19, the Draft Central team is making a case for the top 25 players under 25-years-old across the netball world. Next in line at number 21 and 20 respectively is a pair of 22-year-olds coming into the prime of their netball years in Razia Quashie and Sophie Garbin albeit playing up opposite ends of the court in defence and attack respectively.  With so much talent at our disposal, this countdown is purely opinion-based, taking into consideration recent form, individual potential and future development.

Razia Quashie has really come into her own this season, finding her form thanks to her physical nature and general ability to read the play. At just 22-years-old the goal keeper has made a name for herself at Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) level along with making her debut for the England Roses, a feat she will be hoping to build on as the year continues. While she is yet to lockdown a permanent position in the Roses outfit given the plethora of talent, her ability to have an impact on the court is second to none and plays a good cameo role when needed. She is a real leader down back for the Mavericks in the VNSL with her strength in the air consistently on display notching up an impressive 15 intercepts so far this season. Her combination with the likes of Jo Trip and Jodie Gibson has shaped the style of defender she is, allowing her to freely go out hunting for intercepts and backing herself in the contest despite being costly at times when it comes to penalties.

Sitting at 20 in our rankings is Sophie Garbin. The NSW Swifts representative a key cog in their premiership tilt. Garbin stood up when the likes of Helen Housby went down with her leg injury, shouldering the load in her non-preferred position of goal attack. Her effort is unquestionable always putting in 100 per cent and using her strong movement to have an impact in the goal circle. Although she is not the fastest player on court her impressive vision and netball understanding sets her apart from fellow goalers coming up through the ranks. Garbin’s ability to change up her game style from a holding shooter to a moving one is also important with the youngster steadily learning when to pull the trigger. In terms of accuracy Garbin is not afraid to back herself from range while her split allows her to claim to pivotal space in the circle. Her connection with the likes of Nat Haythornthwaite and Sam Wallace will only strengthen her game and take it to the next level something she will be hoping to do if she is to make her way into the Diamonds squad after being named in the Australia A team.

Top 25 so far:

25. Latanya Wilson (Jamaica)
24. Summer Artman (England)
23. Sophie Drakeford-Lewis (England)
22. Matilda Garrett (Australia)
21. Razia Quashie (England)
20. Sophie Garbin (Australia)

VNSL 2020 team preview: Saracens Mavericks

WITH the 2020 season of the Vitality Netball Superleague now upon us, we take a look at each team heading into a massive year in Superleague netball. The next team in our season preview is Saracens Mavericks.

Coach: Kat Ratnapala
2019 finish: 5th (12-6)

The Mavericks had plenty of hype in 2019 with a number of big names over the court but were just not able to put the consistency out on court that they needed on a regular basis. Just missing out on finals contention by one spot, the Mavericks had a fair few missed opportunities and at times were unable to find what they needed to fix on court to give them that winning edge. They were a tough side that had the ability to go far but simply did not live up to the expectations falling short on winnable games.

2020 predictions:

With only a few changes to their 2019 side, the Mavericks will hope to improve their consistency this year and strengthen their already solid connections to make them a difficult side to match with in 2020. The combination of George Fisher and Kadeen Corbin is sure to elevate to new heights this year but the real key for the side will be to fill the hole of Michelle Drayne who was a key fixture in the midcourt. Georgia Lees and Sasha Corbin are both able to rotate through a number of positions but only time will tell in a side that has plenty to prove. Jodie Gibson will be a welcomed inclusion to the side thanks to her high netball IQ and international experience potentially helping to lead the Mavs defensive end and push them one further than last year. 

Key player: Razia Quashie (GK/GD)

The key defender really made a name for herself in 2019, with impeccable timing and reach to provide the key link-up through the defensive end. With an innate ability to predict where the ball will be, the goal keeper was an excitement machine last season, able to impact both on and off the body and intercept with ease thanks to her quick feet and clean hands. Quashie has proven that she can control the defence end but will have to do it for longer periods if the Mavericks are to win more games and become a force to be reckoned with throughout the season. 

Team list:

Sasha Corbin
Kadeen Corbin
Jo Trip
Georgia Lees
Beth Ecuyer-Dale
Gabby Marshall
George Fisher
Razia Quashie
Chloe Essam (Wasps Netball)
Jodie Gibson (Severn Stars)
Paige McCalla
Stephanie Collard

2020 Pre-season Manchester Invitational preview: Mike Greenwood Trophy

FOUR Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) teams will battle it out for the Mike Greenwood Trophy as part of the Pre-season Manchester Invitational. Following Team Bath hosting its BiG Showdown earlier in the week, reigning VNSL premiers, Manchester Thunder will host this pre-season tournament which plays out over one day. Each team will play three round-robin matches against the other teams competing, with the top two sides at the end of the day facing off for the overall title.

The teams that are competing are of course hosts, Manchester Thunder, as well as Loughborough Lightning, Team Bath and Saracens Mavericks. The Mavericks and Bath come into the tournament with some hitouts under their belt following the BiG Showdown, where the sides faced off in the final there. The Mavericks won both those clashes, so it will be fascinating to see how Bath responds when the two teams meet at 3pm on Saturday. The day opens with the Mavericks taking on the Thunder, before Loughborough Lightning have back-to-back games against Team Bath and the Thunder. Bath will then take a turn at back-to-back matches against the Mavericks and Thunder, with the Mavericks playing the Lightning in the final match of the day prior to the final.

Manchester Thunder are the reigning premiers in the VNSL with their defensive unit one of their strengths on the court. The Thunder will need to overcome the retirement of defensive post, Kerry Almond, and departure of important wing attack, Liana Leota heading into the 2020 season. They have a towering presence in goal shooter, with experienced Malawi talent, Joyce Mvula having an impressive reach and high volume to post. The Thunder will undoubtedly test out a number of combinations to fill the holes left by the departures, but it will be interesting to see how they perform. With Northern Ireland veteran, Caroline O’Hanlon staying on, the Thunder still have experience in the front court. Add in Eleanor Cardwell who stepped up in crunch moments last season such as the VNSL Grand Final, and the Thunder could be a high scoring side.

Saracens Mavericks are coming off a successful BiG Showdown tournament where they would love to add some more silverware to their cabinet in this one-day event. Up front, George Fisher is a player who can make a difference, while Kadeen and Sasha Corbin – members of the England Roses development pathway – are other names to keep an eye out for. Razia Quashie in goal keeper is one of the best in the competition and someone who will hope to counter the likes of Mvula in the circle. Jodie Gibson is a huge addition to the Mavericks’ squad this season, crossing from Wasps over the off-season and will line-up in a defensive post and provide some great experience and strength.

Team Bath showed they will be another key title contender in the VNSL for 2020, following their performances at the BiG Showdown. With the experienced and now Bath Hall of Famer Serena Guthrie on the list – though now moving onto a non-playing role – she has helped develop the future of England netball, with Ebony Usoro-Brown already having an impact at international level, while Imogen Allison and Summer Artman are others who have shown great improvement throughout the 2019 VNSL season since Guthrie returned. Sophie Drakeford-Lewis up front is a real young talent and while raw, could be one to keep in mind for the future. She will learn plenty off Australian shooter, Kim Commane who has been a terrific force across multiple leagues, with the former Melbourne Vixens’ shooter a great mentor for any young shooter.

Loughborough Lightning have an almost unstoppable force in Mary Cholhok who on her day can put up a ridiculous amount of goals. Still only 22-years-old and standing at 201cm (6 ft 7 in), Cholhok has a reach that very few can match, and the Ugandan talent is one who will continue to standout on the world stage. The other major player in the Lightning’s side is Natalie Panagarry, who has captained Loughborough and also represented England at international level. The Lightning will also look to a young defensive duo this season in Annabel Roddy who has returned to the club, joined by former London Pulse defender, Jaz Odeogberin. Both have played international netball at junior level and are still only teenagers themselves. Add in the likes of Roses’ juniors Suzie Liverseidge, Alice Harvey and Beth Gabriel, and the Lightning have plenty of youth prospects coming through.

Pre-season Manchester Invitational Fixture:

12pm – Manchester Thunder vs. Saracens Mavericks
1pm – Team Bath vs. Loughborough Lightning
2pm – Manchester Thunder vs. Loughborough Lightning
3pm – Saracens Mavericks vs. Team Bath
4pm – Manchester Thunder vs. Team Bath
5pm – Saracens Mavericks vs. Loughborough Lightning
6pm – Final

*All local times

2019 VNSL Big Showdown Preview

THE Big Showdown will take place over two days from December 7-8 with six teams competing in the round robin tournament hosted by Team Bath. The Saracens Mavericks, Severn Stars, Strathclyde Sires, Surrey Storm along with men’s premier team Knights will all play in a series of games over the two-day period with the top two teams progressing through to the final. Each team plays five games each.

Team Bath:

Team Bath head into the clash with a wealth of star power and exciting recruits making them a top chance of taking out a spot given their plethora of match winners. They have a good mix of youth and experience with the likes of up and coming midcourter Imogen Alison along with seasoned Roses campaigner Eboni Usoro-Brown down in the defence end.  In the shooting circle Team Bath have plenty of depth with Aussie Kim Commane able to steer the ship with her strong holds, rangy shooting and accuracy to post while youngster Sophie Drakeford-Lewis is an exciting prospect given her movement, positioning and goaling ability. New addition and SPAR Proteas representative Khanyisa Chawane will be a valued inclusion through the midcourt with her flair.

Saracens Mavericks:

The Mavericks are littered with dominant players across the court and could give any side a real run for their money credit to the strength in their line-up. Much like Team Bath they have a combination of young up and coming players along with seasoned talent. Both Kadeen and Sasha Corbin are set to take the court and will be drawing on every inch of their experience to have an impact. 21-year-old shooter George Fisher is another excitement machine for the Mavericks thanks to her strong holds. Defensively Razia Quashie offers a heap of pressure to limit the goalers opportunity to post with fellow defender Jodie Gibson joining her down back.

Severn Stars:

The Severn Stars managed a big coup louring former England Roses captain Ama Agbeze to add to their developing squad. Agbeze oozes talent able to read the play with ease and pick off any passes that come her way making her a prominent threat for opposition clubs. Georgia Rowe is no slouch able to control the ball in the goal circle and hit the scoreboard while Most Valuable Player award winner Ella Powell-Davies is a crucial cog through the midcourt.

Strathclyde Sirens:

The Sirens have had influx of players over the off-season and will be looking to make a splash in the Big Showdown and most importantly get some runs on the board with a new look team. Aussie midcourter Gia Abernethy will provide plenty of excitement able to run the court and use her speed to slice through opposition defence. SPAR Proteas defender Zanele Vimbela is another one to keep an eye out for showing her impressive aerial skills, ability to read the play and defensive pressure. The likes of Lynsey Gallagher and Claire Maxwell are also handy names renowned for their skill and general netball nous.

Surrey Storm:

The Surrey Storm will be hoping to build on their 2019 form and iron out any issues ahead of next year. Goaler Karyn Bailey has a wealth of experience able to stand under the post or get on the move when needed making her a real asset for the Storm. Youngster Leah Middleton made the switch from Queensland to the Storm and will be hoping to assert herself on the competition and make use of her skills across the court. Mikki Austin is solid through the midcourt able to find space and use the ball with precision while Northern Irelands Niamh Cooper applies strong defensive out in wing defence.

Knights:

The Knights will be up against some highly talented teams but have a heap of their own star players that can dictate the flow of a game and use their skill to their full advantage. Former Adelaide Thunderbirds and Manchester Thunder coach, Dan Ryan is set to take the court for the Knights and will be hoping to put both his body and tactical mind to the test. Netball Western Australia’s Simon Taylor will also don the bib for the Knights.