Severn Stars’ Head Coach, Melissa Bessell, is expecting a tough test against last year’s Vitality Netball Superleague champions, but says a home crowd will be a bonus to her players.

Stars take on Manchester Thunder at the University of Worcester Arena tomorrow (Saturday, February 29, 6pm) and will be hoping to get their first points of the season on the board.

Bessell said: “This match is very important for us moving forward. We know it’s going to be a tough match but we are ready for it.

“We know that we are a quality side and we will be doing everything we can this Saturday to ensure we put out a solid performance.  Netball really is a very easy game and, as long as we stick to our structures, do the basics very well and score our goals, it will be a nail biter of a game.”

Errors in the second quarter cost Severn Stars in their opening match of the season, which saw them defeated 70-49 by Saracens Mavericks at Arena Birmingham last weekend.  Stars, a joint franchise between the University of Worcester and University of Gloucestershire, had had a positive start that saw them six goals ahead at the end of the first quarter.  But a swing of 16 goals in the second quarter proved crucial.

“After the first game against Mavericks we have had some quality time together going over footage while doing some great court training,” said Bessell.  “We have taken the positives from the game and know we have lots to correct moving on.  We are a new look team and we certainly don’t want any excuses – we know how to play this game and we just need to get out there and play the best netball we can, for a full 60 minutes.”

Thunder began their season with a 62-55 win over Wasps Netball, the team they beat in last season’s final to life the trophy.

Bessell added: “Thunder are a solid team with huge amounts of experience, flair and speed. They are not a team to be taken lightly. We are excited about playing this quality side and being at home is a bonus.

“We are really excited to play in front of our home crowd.  We are looking forward to seeing and hearing the roar from the crowd which I know only gets the girls jumping higher and running faster.”

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