University of Worcester student Lucy Herdman has signed for a second season with Severn Stars.

The 24-year-old, who will combine her Master’s studies with playing for the team, said the lockdown had left her even more hungry and determined to prove herself this season.

Herdman, who plays in the England Nets team, nets being a variation on traditional netball, said: “I’m extremely excited to be with Stars again this season and cannot wait to get back with the team and for the 2021 season to start! As a team we have already come so far, and it is just exciting to know what we can achieve.  It goes without saying, we want to get into that final and win!”

Herdman had previously played for the club – a joint franchise between the University of Worcester and University of Gloucestershire in the Under 21s.

The student, who splits her time between her hometown of Coventry and Worcester, completed a degree in Sport Development and Coaching at the University of Worcester, and is currently studying for a Master’s in Sports Coaching.  Herdman, who played in a shooting role last season, will this time be mainly focused in more defensive positions, and said she welcomes the opportunity as she has experience in both.

“I really enjoyed last season, even though it was unfortunately cut short,” she said.  “I loved the atmosphere and support from the fans. The whole team had great connections – players, coaches, and management staff – it just felt like a family, so it was a no brainer to re-sign really.  This season my hopes are to gain more court time and be a key starting 7 player.

“I was exceptionally gutted for us as a team when the season was cut short, as we had finished on a win and a great team performance against Wasps.  I feel like we were just starting to show everyone what we were capable of and everything was coming together. We had shown as a team how much we had grown.

“For me personally, I feel like I had learnt a lot and developed as a player throughout pre-season and just wanted the opportunity to prove myself in the season.  Now, having such a long break from netball, it has just made me even more hungry and determined to prove myself this season and help Stars finish in the top four and ultimately become Superleague champions.”

Herdman played for England Nets at Under 21 level, including the Under 21 World Championships 2016 in New Zealand, where the team came third.  She has 15 caps playing for England Nets Senior team, including the World Championships in South Africa last year, where the team placed third.

She will continue to play for the Worcester Reds team in the English National Premier League and for the University team.  She has also played for the Worcester Wolves Ladies National League basketball team.

Herdman is on the University’s sports scholarship programme, giving her financial and academic support, as well as access to specialist lifestyle advice and help to fit in her studies around her sporting commitments.

Stars Head Coach, Melissa Bessell, said: “Lucy is a huge asset to have in your team. She is fit, strong, has great height, is totally committed, versatile, loves her netball and is always pushing herself physically and mentally as an athlete to be better.  She really found her place in Stars last season and grew so much as a player, a teammate and a person.  I am so proud of her, what she has achieved, and even more excited for this coming season.  I have great plans for Lucy Herdman and cannot wait to see her fly.”

Herdman joins a Stars line-up which includes New Zealand star and captain Liana Leota, Welsh internationals Nia Jones, Bethan Dyke and Georgia Rowe, Paige Reed, Lucy Harris, Jane Taylor, Fijian international Adi Bolakoro and Jamaican international Malysha Kelly.