Severn Stars’ Head Coach, Sam Bird, says the outcome of her team’s upcoming match will depend on which side gels best after changes to both since last season.
Stars face last year’s Vitality Netball Superleague runners up Loughborough Lightning after just losing out to league newcomers London Pulse in their first game of the new season last weekend.
Bird said both sides had changed personnel over the summer break and that would be a key factor.
“I’m looking forward to playing Loughborough,” said Bird. “They are a new look side with a new coach so it will be good to take them on. Both Loughborough and Stars have changed significantly from last season, with both sides losing players to play in Australia and other VNSL teams, so it’s about who gels best on Saturday. It’s another opportunity for us to see what we can do against last year’s finalists.”
The match away at the Sir David Wallace Arena, in Loughborough, on Saturday (January 12), at 6pm, will see Stars keen to get some points on the board after coming close against Pulse at the Super Ten event, at Arena Birmingham, last Saturday (January 5).
With just two minutes to go, the two teams were level on scores, having been neck and neck for much of the second half, but Pulse took the victory 51-49 in the final seconds, with Pulse scoring off a turnover.
Following the game, Bird said she had been encouraged by the improvement she had seen as the game progressed but called on her team to show their “excellent” passages of play more consistently. After the disappointment of the defeat, Bird said her players had been training hard in preparation for their next encounter.
She said: “We have an exciting combination of players who just need time to develop their connections and understanding, but the work ethic and enthusiasm to perform well together is really pleasing.
“We are away again so Loughborough have the home advantage but we have worked hard in the week and are looking to see that work put into effect.”
Stars, a joint franchise between the University of Worcester and University of Gloucestershire, host their first home game at the University of Gloucestershire Arena on Friday, January 25, against Celtic Dragons.
For tickets visit www.ticketline.co.uk/netball-superleague-severn-stars#bio.
Photo courtesy of Clive Jones PR