With the appointment of Sam Bird as head coach and a years Superleague experience under their belts, the Severn Stars are looking to make a big impression in their second season.
We have very high aspirations for the future, evident in these key appointments.
Goal Attack | Goal Shooter Netball started at the age of eight as a hobby, but soon changed into Maryka’s life dream. Her mum thought it would be a good idea to play a team sport and Maryka thought it was a lot of fun because she got to see her friends. Since then Maryka has represented South Africa from under 19 and made it to the Commonwealth games in New Delhi, Glasgow and the World Netball championships in Singapore and Sydney this totalling to ninety one international caps. Maryka comes to the Stars with Superleague experience having played for Loughborough Lightning in 2015.
Goal Shooter Eleanor didn’t even want to go to her first netball session, but fell in love with netball when her mum encouraged her to make up the numbers at her local netball team. She has three years of experience within the Netball Superleague at Manchester Thunder starting as a defender but moving to goal shooter in her final two years. Eleanor is also an international player, having her first call up last year for Netball Europe 2016. READ MORE
Centre | Goal Attack | Wing Attack Iona developed quickly after taking up netball when she started secondary school. Her dedication to Netball took her Tameside where she became part of the North West Regional Academy at the age of 14. To gain more experience in WA and C positions Iona then moved to NPL Manchester Thunder. She has been playing for England netball since the age of 17 and has since taken part in tours such as the U19 netball tour and U21 Netball Europe 2017. READ MORE
Goal Defence | Wing Defence | Goal Keeper Jodie started playing Netball in year 5 in primary school and was quickly snapped up by YWCA Bury Netball club when playing against another local school. From there Jodie moved to Oldham to start playing in the Premier 1 netball league. Jodie has tonnes of experience in the Superleague, going from Manchester Thunder to Loughborough Lightning whilst at University and then back to Manchester Thunder to win the Superleague title. She is also in the current England squad and has been on a number of tours with England Roses. READ MORE
Goal Shooter Phumza was introduced to netball in high school, and since has sustained thirty six international caps. As a player Phumza has taken inspiration from other players such as Bongiwe Msomi, South African international.
Centre | Wing Attack | Wing Defence Laura started out as a goalkeeper for her school team when she was 10 years old. The problem was that her team were so good, she never had chance to touch the ball! Flash forward to 2017 and Laura has moved to the Severn Stars after a 7-year spell at Manchester Thunder. During this time she has also represented England in a number of tours. Laura felt like it was time for a change and that a move to the Stars was an opportunity to be the start of something special. READ MORE
Sam was first introduced to netball in year 7 by her school teacher who pointed her in the direction of the local netball club – Hucclecote Netball Club. Since then Sam has represented Team Bath in the Vitality Netball Super League and has gained 16 international caps, her first in Jamaica 2015. Sam is currently based at the University of Gloucestershire working as Severn Stars Pathway Head Coach and the University of Gloucestershire 1st and 2nd Team Coach.
Goal Attack | Goal Shooter Amanda has always enjoyed being active and competing in sports. She first played netball at school, where her teacher put her forward for county trials and suggested I join a club. In 2007 she joined Telstars NC where she continued to improve, representing Surrey Storm during 2011-2015 and England age groups in subsequent years. Alongside netball Amanda is a Materials Laboratories Apprentice at Rolls-Royce.
Goal Defence | Goal Keeper Rebecca was put off by netball when her teacher told her that she would never be good enough to make the senior team! When Rebecca turned 16 she had a growth spurt and revisited her love for netball at Bath Ladies Netball club. Since then she has worked her way from the University team to Treharris in the Cardiff & District Division 2 and then Leckwith in Division one before getting a call up for to represent the Welsh National team at Netball Europe 2016. Rebecca is experienced in the VNSL as she comes from a season at Celtic Dragons. READ MORE
Centre | Wing Attack | Wing Defence After enjoying netball at school, Sophie decided to take up netball at her local club. She continued to work her way up the leagues where she found herself playing at Hertfordshire Mavericks for the past three season. However, since moving to University in Bath Sophie has been looking for a club slightly closer. This brought her to the Severn Stars, as Sophie believes that she has found the perfect place at here with exciting coaching staff and the opportunities it presents. READ MORE
Goal Shooter | Goal Attack Rosie started playing netball when she was 11 years old as a way for her friend’s mum to get them out of the house on the Sunday morning. They went along to a local netball training at Domino’s netball club in Worthing and went from there. Rosie was selected for England U21s at just 15 years old and made her superleague debut at 16 years old for Team Bath, travelling from Brighton every week for training). She played at Team Bath for 7 years, winning 3 superleague titles before leaving in 2015. Rosie took 2 years out of the Superleague, playing for Hucclecote in the premier league and is now excited to return to the superleague stage with Severn Stars.
Shooter After being introduced to netball at school, Laura has now come full circle and enjoys working as a director of netball. Laura’s message to new and developing players is to “work hard and embrace new challenges”.
Mid-court After being introduced to netball at school, Shona has continued her love for netball playing for premiership side Hucclecote Netball Club and for the University of Gloucestershire 1st team. Shona has also been involved in England U21’s and competed in Netball Europe, sustaining three caps.
Defence Dominique found a love for netball after she took part in a session taking place in her local sports centre. Since then, Dominique has gone onto represent England for the under 17’s and premiership side Tameside Netball’s Club
Defence Through the positive experiences of netball within school, Ella developed a love for netball and has since represented premiership side Hucclecote Netball Club and has achieved three caps as part of the England under 17’s. As a student at the University of Gloucestershire, Ella also plays in the university 1st team.
COACHES AND STAFF
Sam Bird (a solicitor) is married to Jason Beer (barrister and judge) with 2 children Lewis and Daisy. Sam, a mid court player, has played netball for England at every age group U16, U18, U21 and Seniors. Following a forced early retirement through injury, Sam turned to coaching netball at club and county levels.
Since the establishment of the Superleague, Sam has coached at Hertfordshire Mavericks in various roles at both Youth and Senior levels. She was Head Coach for two years where she led the team to playoff finals in both years. Sam joined Severn Stars last year as assistant coach and has taken over as Head Coach this year. Sam’s coaching philosophy is to train with intensity, play with passion, intelligence and flair and to be ruthless in delivery of elite performance. Sam has also coached the National Academy U17 at Netball Europe and has recently been appointed as one of the coaches for the England futures squad for the upcoming matches v Australia and New Zealand in January 2018. Sam is also a national selector for England netball being responsible for contributing to selection of the England Roses squad and the England U21 squad.