As the pre-season period comes to a close for Surrey Storm, we look back at a fruitful few months of preparation for the squad ahead of the start of the 2016 Vitality Netball Superleague season this weekend.
Next Generation Superleague
The next crop of Superleague stars, including a handful of senior VNSL squad members, showed that the future is bright for Storm after coming close to winning the first ever Next Generation Superleague tournament.
Confident wins over Loughborough Lightning, Hertfordshire Mavericks, Team Northumbria and Yorkshire Jets saw Surrey take top spot in the table into their closing match, before coming unstuck in a winner-takes-all match against Manchester Thunder leaving their arch rivals unbeaten with 5 wins.
Amy Flanagan, Yamsin Parsons, Georgia Lees, Rhea Dixon, Elsa Wakeman and Fran Williams all featured in the Next Generation line-up.
In November the Storm long squad travelled to the University of Bath Sports Village to take on Team Bath and Hertfordshire Mavericks in the annual pre-season tri-tournament.
Storm opened the day with a close 30-24 win over the hosts thanks to a powerful 3rd quarter defensive performance, before Netball London Live rivals Mavericks held off a final period comeback to secure a 30-25 victory and send Storm home with a mixed bag of results.
Tri-Tournament squad: Pamela Cookey, Rachel Dunn, Hannah Reid, Katy Holland, Amy Flanagan, Georgia Lees, Josie Huckle, Kay Hayes, Yasmin Parsons, Fran Williams, Elsa Wakeman (plus long squad members Katie Harris, Becky Gentle and Olivia Emanus).
England Tri-Series Warm-up
The whole Storm squad (with the exception of Rachel Dunn and Rhea Dixon) travelled to Loughborough University to take on a England as part of their Australia Tri-Series preparation earlier this month, playing out a closely fought battle against the Roses.
Squad vs England: Squad vs Loughborough Lightning: Georgia Lees, Elsa Wakeman, Katt Ainsworth, Sophia Candappa, Katy Holland, Josie Huckle, Kat Hayes, Yasmin Parsons, Mikki Austin, Amy Flanagan.
A strong Storm squad returned to Loughborough this time to take on their VNSL opponents, running out 54-51 winners despite regular squad rotations throughout the game.
The game saw Mikki Austin and Sophia Candappa both return to the court following recent injuries, with Kat Hayes also impressing coaches with two 100% shooting quarters.
Young guns Williams, Dixon and Wakeman put in impressive performances against experienced opposition including internationals Jade Clarke, Sasha Corbin and Peace Proscovia.
Squad vs Loughborough Lightning: Georgia Lees, Elsa Wakeman, Katt Ainsworth, Sophia Candappa, Katy Holland, Josie Huckle, Rhea Dixon, Kat Hayes, Yasmin Parsons, Mikki Austin, Amy Flanagan.
Storm kick off their 2016 Vitality Netball Superleague season this Saturday when they travel to Birmingham’s Genting Arena to take on Team Bath as part of the Super Saturday showdown (8pm centre-pass).
Tickets for the match, which gives you access to all 4 matches taking place in the same day, are on sale now – click here to buy online.
All home games at Surrey Sports Park are sold out, but there is still good availability for Netball London Live 2016 at London’s Copper Box Arena. Click here for more information and to buy online.