Posted 26th Jan 2011

Team Bath to begin defence of Superleague title

Team Bath’s netballers get their 2011 Fiat Netball Superleague campaign underway with a trip to Team Northumbria on Saturday (29 January).

The four-times Superleague champions are bidding to win an historic third successive title this season – and head coach Jess Garland said her 2011 squad are ready for the challenge.

“We’re good to go,” she said. “It feels a bit like a pressure cooker at the moment and we can’t wait to get going. We need a game to be able to measure where we are and where we need to focus our energy.

“We’ve got an exciting group of players. The likes of Serena Guthrie, Sasha Corbin, Eboni Beckford-Chambers and Stacey Francis really stepped up last season.

“This season we have players like Mia Ritchie, Scarlett Williams and Rosie Allison who we’re looking to step-up and make an impact,” she added. “I’ve also got my eye on some of our Netball Talent League (NTL) players who could come into the Superleague squad.

“We’re working with a group of players that want to continually raise the bar, and searching for a hat-trick of wins is a nice way to try to keep up the momentum.

“We’re about more than outcomes this year, we’re looking to develop a team that can keep wining the title over the next five years,” she said.

Team Bath will be captained again by Pamela Cookey (pictured), three-times winner of the national Superleague player of the season award. She is joined by Eboni Beckford-Chambers and Stacey Francis, who were also members of the England team that won bronze at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games.

That trio, as well as Corbin and Guthrie also played in England’s recent test series against New Zealand. The new season also sees Katy Rose and Sam Perry returning to Team Bath.

Team Bath have a new coaching partnership for their Superleague campaign, with former Team Bath captain Kat Ratnapala, formerly Rawson, returning to the club as assistant coach working alongside Garland and her other assistant, Denise Ellis. Ratnapala succeeds Anna Mayes, who has moved to work as England’s assistant coach.

“We’re really proud to see Anna involved in the senior England coaching set-up and we wish her luck for the World Championships later this year,” said Garland.

Team Northumbria, now coached by the experienced former England international Tracey Neville, lost their opening game against Surrey Storm 58-32 at the weekend.

* Team Bath play their first home Superleague games of the season in early February – taking on Celtic Dragons on Thursday 3 February and Loughborough Lightning on Monday 7 February.

There is now the bonus of an additional home game, with the televised game against Leeds Carnegie on Monday 21 February also taking place at the Sports Training Village. That game was originally scheduled to be played in Leeds. Event start times for all three of these homes games is 6.45pm, with entertainment taking place ahead of the start of the games.

For further information and to buy tickets for Team Bath’s home games, please click here.

Team Bath 2011 Superleague fixtures

Saturday 29 January     Team Northumbria         2pm          Away
Thursday 3 February   Celtic Dragons           6.45pm       Home
Monday 7 February      Loughborough Lightning 6.45pm  Home
Saturday 12 February    Mavericks                       4pm          Away
Monday 21 February      Leeds Carnegie (TV)     6.45pm     HOME
Saturday 26 February   Glasgow Wildcats        4.45pm     Home
Monday 7 March           Northern Thunder (TV)  6.45pm    Home
Friday 18 March           Mavericks                        6.45pm    Home
Saturday 26 March        Surrey Storm                    4pm          Away
Sunday 27 March          Loughborough Lightning   4pm         Away
Friday 8 April                Celtic Dragons                  7.30pm    Away

Sunday 10 April           Team Northumbria          3.15pm    Home
Saturday 30 April         Leeds Carnegie              4.15pm     Home
Monday 9 May               Northern Thunder  (TV)   8pm           Away
Thursday 12 May         Surrey Storm (LIVE TV)   6.45pm    Home
Saturday 14 May           Glasgow Wildcats              5pm          Away

Team Bath’s home games take place at the Sports Training Village. All home match times are event times – match start times are 45 minutes later, to allow time for pre-match entertainment.  Times and dates may be subject to change, please see check the Team Bath website for further information or contact the Team Bath even

ts team on 384267.

For further information members of the media can contact the Team Bath press office at Matchtight Ltd on 01225 383518 or 01225 443998.

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