2017 Vitality Netball Superleague preview: Surrey Storm
The 2017 Vitality Netball Superleague promises to be bigger and better than ever with new players, new coaches and new teams!
Ten sides will battle it out to be crowned champions when the league gets underway on Friday 17th February.
Here Sports Gazette gives you the lowdown on Surrey Storm.
Director of Netball: Tania Hoffman
Home Venue: Surrey Sports Park
Squad: Mikki Austin, Megan Craig, Rhea Dixon, Katie Harris, Katy Holland, Nadia Hutchinson, Lorraine Kowalewska, Georgia Lees, Yasmin Parsons, Bethany Sutherland, Francesca Wells, Scarlett Williams
Can Surrey Storm win their third successive title? Mikki Austin has said that the team will aim for top four at the start of the season but believes they are capable of contesting to be crowned champions again. It could well prove to be quite a challenging season though.
Storm are a completely new-look outfit with a new head coach following a significant number of high-profile departures, including Tamsin Greenway, Pamela Cookey, Rachel Dunn and Sophia Candappa.
They will also certainly have to make a stronger start than last campaign. The defending champions were beaten 47-44 on the opening day of the season after Team Bath overturned a 10-goal deficit.
Hoffman has welcomed 23-year-old goal shooter Megan Craig into the fold and, although it’s a real test to follow such a long-standing and high-quality partnership such as that of Cookey and Dunn, she will prove a tricky opponent in the circle, standing at two metres tall. She’s also come straight off the Silver Ferns’ shooting production line, learning her trade with legends Maria Tutaia and Catherine Tuivaiti.
First fixture: vs. Severn Stars (H, Saturday 18th February at 19:00)
Regular season winner odds: 4/1 (Sky Bet)