Host of new players set to make debuts as Team Bath Netball get pre-season underway by aiming to retain Mike Greenwood Trophy
Sunshine Girls Vangelee Williams and Shantal Slater are set to make their first appearances for Team Bath Netball this weekend, fresh from helping Jamaica record a series victory over England.
Fellow new recruit Layla Guscoth has also been named in a 12-strong squad for the Mike Greenwood Trophy, a pre-season tournament featuring fellow Superleague franchises Celtic Dragons, Hertfordshire Mavericks, Wasps Netball and hosts Manchester Thunder.
Team Bath, sponsored by Sitec, won the round-robin competition last year and defender Sam Cook is looking forward to getting back on court as preparations for the 2017 Vitality Netball Superleague season continue.
“It’s already been a long pre-season, we’ve been back in training since August, so we can’t wait to get some games under our belts,” said Cook, a sporting ambassador with Team Bath partners MJ Church.
“We won the Mike Greenwood Trophy last year and we’re hoping to retain the title. It should be a good test of where we are.”
Also named in the Blue and Gold squad for Saturday’s tournament are captain Eboni Beckford-Chambers, who is sponsored by Mogers Drewett, Mia Ritchie, Rachel Shaw, Chelsea Lewis, Paige Reed, Laura Rudland and 2017 training partners Jazz Scott and Amanda Varey.
Beckford-Chambers started all three matches for England in the test series against Jamaica, which was only settled in the last quarter of the final match.
After the Sunshine Girls won 66-49 in the opening match at the Copper Box Arena in London, the Roses – inspired by some outstanding intercepts from Beckford-Chambers – leveled the series with a 63-50 victory at Belle Vue Stadium in Manchester.
England produced another stunning comeback in Sunday’s third and final test at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, rallying from eight goals down to go into the fourth quarter level at 46-46.
However, with Williams in fine form, Jamaica were able to reestablish the lead and went on to win 64-57.
The international players will return to Belle Vue on Saturday for the Mike Greenwood Trophy, with 11 matches taking place between 11.30am and 5pm. Tickets priced £15 are available from tickets.sky.com/Netball/Mike-Greenwood-Trophy.
Speaking ahead of the weekend’s tournament, Team Bath Director of Netball Jess Thirlby said the full squad would have the opportunity to impress.
“We will want to be competitive this weekend,” she said. “But the Mike Greenwood Trophy will also be a chance to see our full squad under pressure on court against a variety of teams.”
“These pre-season events are really valuable for the players and coaches as well as being exciting for the spectators,” Thirlby continued.
“Anyone who can’t make it to Manchester can come and cheer us on in our own Tri-Tournament early in the New Year when we will match up against another two top Superleague sides.”
Team Bath will next be in action on Saturday, January 7 when they host Loughborough Lightning and Wasps Netball in a tri-tournament at the University of Bath Sports Training Village.
Tickets for the tri-tournament and Team Bath’s individual Superleague home matches during the 2017 season are on sale now priced £12 for aduits, £8 concessions and £35 for a family ticket.
Season tickets providing admission to all nine Superleague matches at the Team Bath Arena in 2017 are also available priced £75 for adults and £50 concessions.
To purchase or for more information, visit www.teambath.com/events/ticketline or call 0844 888 4412.
Team Bath Netball are sponsored by Sitec, Mogers Drewett are their Education Partners, Surridge are the kit supplier and Skins provide the team with compression wear.