‘So much talent right through the squad’ – Anna Stembridge excited to see what Blue & Gold can achieve in 2022 Superleague season
Eleven members of the squad that reached the Grand Final during 2021 have recommitted to the Haines Watts-sponsored Blue & Gold for another title challenge – Imogen Allison, Kim Borger, Betsy Creak, Sophie Drakeford-Lewis, Layla Guscoth, Serena Guthrie, Kirsty Harris, Hannah Passmore, Tash Pavelin, Jess Shaw and Rachel Shaw.
Bringing fresh energy and ideas are prodigious 18-year-olds Molly Hole and Lily Jones, both making the step up from Team Bath’s Academy, while another pathway graduate, defender Lily-May Catling, is returning to the club after a period in Australia and a season with Wasps.
“We are delighted with the make-up of the squad,” said Stembridge, Superleague Head Coach for Team Bath Netball who are also supported by Rengen. “It is always so important to retain the core group of players, it is really hard to build year on year if you don’t do that, and then bring some new faces and young talents into the mix.
“You cannot question the quality. We have our four returning England Roses athletes in Imo, Sophie, Layla and Serena, then you have such brilliant players as Tash, the Shaw sisters and Kimmy, and rising stars like Betsy, Kirsty and Hannah who all gained plenty of experience last season.
“Molly and Lily are wonderful additions. Not only are they exceptional athletes and people but you can see just how happy they are to be given this opportunity. They are loving the experience and really flourishing.
“We’re also so fortunate to have someone like Lily-May coming back to the club having been through the pathway as a junior. She is definitely the type of athlete and person we want in the squad, a versatile player with a real ‘team first’ approach.
“There is so much talent right through the squad and they are all excited to build on what we achieved during 2021. Last season we only had three athletes who had previously played in a Superleague Grand Final but now almost all of the squad have had that experience and you cannot underestimate the learning they can take from that.
“We were obviously bitterly disappointed not to win the final but we hit a lot of targets in terms of the brand of netball we put out there and the way we hit the ground running. I can’t wait to see how this group builds on that in 2022.”
Paperwork is being finalised for a 15th player, another new face for 2022, and their identity will be revealed shortly.
Tickets for Superleague matches at the Team Bath Arena will also go on sale shortly, with the competition reverting to home and away format for 2022. Visit netball.teambath.com/tickets for more information.