Posted 12th Mar 2015

“Team Bath Netball getting better all the time,” says Stacey Francis ahead of Team Northumbria Superleague game

England defender Stacey Francis believes that new-look Team Bath Netball are making encouraging progress as the second half of the Superleague season gets under way.

The five-time champions endured a difficult start to the campaign, losing four of their first five matches, but go into Friday’s game against Team Northumbria at the Sports Training Village on the back of wins against Celtic Dragons and Loughborough Lightning.

And Francis is pleased the results are starting to come, although she says that building consistency – both individually and as a team – remains the main aim for the weeks ahead.

“Winning is obviously fantastic but we are just trying to concentrate on the process and making sure that each performance is better than the last,” said Francis, who was player of the match in last week’s pulsating 45-43 home win over Loughborough.

“We were obviously unhappy with how we started the season. I know we had a tough run of games against the top four teams but we felt we didn’t do ourselves justice.

“But it’s also important to keep perspective. This is a new team and just because Team Bath have historically won matches and titles it doesn’t make it an automatic right.

“We are patiently building and hopefully the results will now start to take care of themselves. We are beginning to play with far more consistency, the next step is to start games well.”

Friday’s game – which will be played in front of another big home crowd – will provide Team Bath with the opportunity to complete the double over Northumbria, having beaten them 49-33 in the opening week.

But Francis is expecting a tough encounter, saying: “I think they will be physical. When we played them in the first game, although we had quite a significant lead at some points they did not give up and kept coming back at us.

“Because of how we started the season, teams have been more confident when facing us than normal but we are in a good space and we are improving.”

Team Bath will be helped, as always, by their vociferous home support – “the best fans in the league bar none,” according to Francis.

“The support has been amazing all season,” she added. “They are not just here to watch an England player or because we are on a winning run, they are here because they are netball fans, Team Bath fans, and they support us regardless.”

Friday’s game against Team Northumbria will start at 7.45pm. Doors open at 6.45pm and pre-match entertainment and warm-ups get under way at 7pm.

Tickets are available from http://teambath.ticketline.co.uk/ and http://tickets.sky.com/Netball/Team-Bath.

Carter Jonas are Team Bath Netball’s property partner, Surridge are the Team Bath kit supplier and Skins provide the team with compression wear.

For further information, members of the media can contact the Team Bath press office at Matchtight Ltd on 01225 383518 or press@matchtight.co.uk

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