With Surrey Storm’s 2020 Vitality Superleague squad almost complete, Mikki Austin looks back with pride, and forward with huge optimism, as she prepares to lead Storm into her second season as Director of Netball at Surrey Sports Park.
Admitting that last season already “feels like forever ago”, Mikki started preparations for 2020 the day after a thrilling Grand Final, and is now able to reveal that “we’re 90 percent done, which is amazing. I feel very happy and relieved to say that the majority of the work is done. This time last year we were nowhere near that, so we’re slightly ahead of the game.
“Two-thirds of our squad are returners, which I’m very happy about, but there are going to be some changes. Some athletes have chosen to take a step away from the sport to explore other avenues in their life, and some players will be given opportunities overseas, or have just decided to take opportunities at other teams for mass financial reasons. And we wish them all well.
“That also means a couple of new signings, and I can honestly say that I have a real intense feeling about the team that we have together this year, the personalities that we have, and the calibre of players that we’ve managed to band together. I think we’re looking at a team whose ambition should be driven towards the top four.”
Announcements will be made in the coming weeks, leading up to the Fast4 AllStars Championship at the Copper Box Arena on Saturday 12 October, and Mikki explains: “We identified some key areas across the court that we thought needed bolstering from last season, and then we identified a couple of key names in areas as a like-for-like switch. There’s some names that are arguably bigger than what we had before, so we’re hugely excited to work with the athletes that we’ve got.”