New arrival Caroline Mtukule excited to finally be with the Blue & Gold ahead of sell-out Surrey Storm Super League showdown
Malawi captain Caroline Mtukule is excited at the prospect of making her Team Bath Netball Super League debut in Friday’s sell-out home clash with early pacesetters Surrey Storm after linking up with her new club this week.
The vastly-experienced goal-defence, a veteran of nine major international competitions, flew into the country on Saturday after waiting for her visa to be processed. She headed straight to Worcester to watch her new team-mates take on Severn Stars and had her first full training session on Tuesday.
Mtukule will be in the match-day squad for Friday’s fixture against Storm (7.30pm centre-pass), which will be watched by a 1,700-strong crowd in the Team Bath Arena and televised live on Sky Sports.
“I’m so excited to finally be here after waiting such a long time and I can’t wait for the game against Storm – a home match with a sell-out crowd is a good welcome!” she said.
“My family and friends can’t wait to see me on court as well, they’ll be watching and cheering back home. It’s a dream come true to be here, I’ve been looking forward to an opportunity like this for so long and now is the time. I’ll have fun, I’ll enjoy it and I’ll do the work.”
Team Bath Netball Head Coach Asha Francis is pleased to have her full squad in place, saying: “Now that Carol is here we have an opportunity to build that defensive end and have a few more options, particularly around the goal-defence position.
“Carol is new to this league but she has so much experience and knows how to be in tough games, how to contest and fight for every ball. She is also the most positive person you will ever meet and I think she’ll be a really good addition to the squad.”
Francis was frustrated by her team’s performance during their 67-50 defeat at Severn Stars and has challenged them to show more fight against a Storm side whose unbeaten start to the season was ended by London Pulse last weekend.
“We weren’t able to execute what we wanted to and we also saw a lack of fight, which was probably the most difficult thing,” she said. “That’s something we will definitely be working on in training, just being dogged and making the other team earn it more.
“Storm will be contesting for the championship this year, which does make it a tough match but it also means we have nothing to lose. The expectation is more on them so we just need to take it as an opportunity to have the freedom to play how we want to play, do our thing and fight for every ball.”
Team Bath Netball is supported by its Principal and Pathway Partner, chartered accountants Haines Watts; Bath Building Society and Rengen Developments, who are overall Team Bath Partners; Centurion Chartered Financial Planners; Ecus Ltd, our environment partner; and PDS Coaching, who provide performance mentoring. Team Bath’s suppliers include O’Neills, 2XU and Pulseroll.