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January 22, 2015 by Surrey Storm

Preview: Greenway on the Superleague

Player-coach Tamsin Greenway takes a look at the opposition Storm will face during this season’s Netball Superleague, and gives her verdict on the key signings and departures.

Manchester Thunder
Home, 14th March 2015, 7pm SOLD OUT
Away, 26th January 2015, 7.45pm LIVE ON SKY SPORTS

Last year’s league champions will certainly be up there again this season and wanting to secure their first ever back-to-back titles. The signing of former Aussie Diamonds attacker Chelsea Pitman from ANZ outfit West Coast Fever, coupled with the return of Sara Bayman and Laura Malcolm who make up one of the strongest C/WD pairings in the league, they can certainly still consider themselves favourites ahead of the start of the season.

Hertfordshire Mavericks
Home, 7th March 2015 (Netball London Live, Copper Box Arena) Tickets available
Away, 6th April 2015, 2pm

A fresh coaching line-up at Mavericks will inject new life into their squad, as Sam Bird, Amanda Newton and former Storm Assistant Coach Mel Mansfield take the reins. Upcoming star Sophia Candappa returns to Hertfordshire after a stint with Loughborough and on the back of her selection in the England squad, while Louisa Watson brings her league and Commonwealth medal winning experience back into the team. Naida Hutchinson, Sarah East and Sara May all return, while Sasha and Kadeen Corbin round off  what on paper looks like the strongest squad in the league.

Team Bath
Home, 17th March 2015, 8pm SOLD OUT
Away, 9th February 2015, 7.45pm LIVE ON SKY SPORTS

With Pamela Cookey returning to Storm and Serena Guthrie heading off to ANZ side Northern Mystics, Bath will be under-pressure to maintain their top 4 position this season. International experience arrived in the form of Kyra Jones (Wales) and Clare Brownie (Scotland) over the summer, while Central Pulse defender Bessie Manu will boost their expertise. But with Stacey Francis looking to secure her position in the England set-up ahead of the World Cup and Mia Ritchie and Rosie Allison looking for international call-ups, a hungry Bath squad with something to prove should keep them up there in the mix this season.

Loughborough Lightning
Home, 4th April 2015, 7pm SOLD OUT
Away, 21st February 2015, 6pm

The signings of Karen Atkinson and Olivia Murphy as Head Coach and Assistant Coach respectively is huge for Loughborough, and will give them a new level of confidence after a poor 2014 season. A mix of youth and experience in the squad including captain Rachel Henry (Manchester Thunder), Rachel Forbes (Scotland and Jets) and the return of Lauren Massey from injury will serve them well, but key imports in the form of experienced South African captain Maryka Holtzhausen and young defender Phumza Mawen as well as Ugandan shooter Peace Proscovia will give Lightning fans a lot more to smile about this season.

Yorkshire Jets
Home, 7th February 2015, 7pm SOLD OUT
Away, 20th March 2015, 8pm

Jets made a statement of intent during the close season by bringing Dragons shooter Lottysha Cato into their squad to link up with fans’ favourite play-maker Natalie Haythornwaite, but will the rest of the squad gel to Cato’s direct style of play? If they can pull it off, they could be an outside contender for a top 4 spot, as long as their youthful squad can make results count and finish off weaker sides.

Celtic Dragons
Home, 14th February 2015, 7pm SOLD OUT
Away, 28th March 2015, 4pm

Losing Cato to Yorkshire Jets will be a big blow for Dragons as they have relied on her in past seasons to score goals. Kyra Jones also departed, making way for ex-Storm mid-court player Sophie Morgan to return. A new coaching setup in the form of Trish Wilcox and Jamilla Abbot will be keeping a squad with one eye on the World Cup in check, including the return of defender Steph Williams who will be vital for the Dragons this season, but they could struggle having to play a very different attacking style this season .

Team Northumbria
Home, 28th February 2015, 8pm SOLD OUT
Away, 13th April 2015, 7.30pm

Retaining Fionnuala Toner and Caroline O’Hanlon will be key for Northumbria if they are to pose any threat to the top sides in the league. Jatjinda ‘Toetsie’ Kambatuku will get a chance to shine in the attack with the depature of Noleen Lennon, plus ex-Storm player Natasha Hampshire will boost the midcourt, but losing Northern Ireland coach Kate Carpenter and a number of changes in the team over summer could make them slow starters this season.

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