2021 VNSL Season preview: Severn Stars

WITH the Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) season around the corner after a yearlong hiatus due to the COVID-19 enforced cancellation in 2020 Draft Central takes a look at each team, player lists and expectations. The next side in focus is Severn Stars who have recruited one of the leagues most experienced midcourters for the 2021 season.

Heading into their fifth season, the Stars have a wealth of midcourters that can play a number of roles and will be keen to rise up the ladder this season. Filled to the brim with attacking options the Stars will be hoping that their defensive combinations are able to gel and put their foot down to claim some ascendancy this season.

2021 expectations/predictions:

Littered with experienced heads across the court, the Stars also have a number of developing players eager to make a splash in the 2021 VNSL season. With newcomer Liana Leota headlining the midcourt the Stars have a real sense of purpose and intensity with the former Silver Ferns player able to light up the court with her quick ball movement, silky hands around circle edge and dynamism to keep the defenders guessing. In terms of familiar faces amongst the mix for the Stars it is hard to bypass Nia Jones with the dual athlete a strong contributor in defence rotating through wing defence and goal defence. The nimble defender/midcourter is able to track the ball well and uses her change of direction to influence the play.

Another dynamo in the midcourt is Bethan Dyke, with the youngster able to effectively ply her trade in both the wing attack and centre position. Her quick give and go often sets the tone for the Stars unit while the likes of the highly versatile Lucy Harris will be gearing up for a big season. Able to play centre, wing attack and then swing into goal attack, Harris is a threat and will be hoping to use her skillset to impact the play for the Stars in the upcoming season. A consistent figure under the post, Georgia Rowe has proven that she can score quickly and with ease, a feat she will be hoping to replicate in 2021 to keep the scoreboard ticking over and subsequently win games. At 195cm Rowe is likely to dictate the flow of things in attack for the Stars with the goal attack position set to rotate through Paige Reed and co. Down the other end of the court lookout for Iman Thomas and Jamaican excitement machine Malysha Kelly who are renowned for their athleticism, read of the play and tenacity.

Player to watch:

Down in defence Fijian, Adi Bolakoro will be one to keep a keen eye on with her tenacity and hunt a couple of key attributes. Boasting a unique skillset and an undeniable hunger to learn Bolakoro is a real livewire that can change the course of a game with her well timed intercepts and deflections. Standing at 185cm the defender can swing between wing defence, goal defence and goal keeper with relative ease showcasing her impressive netball nous. Crossing from Celtic Dragons at the end of the 2020 season expect Bolakoro to come out with a point to prove and use her natural flair to repel ball down the court and create a strong wall in defence.

Team list:

Adi Bolakoro
Chloe Carchrie
Bethan Dyke
Issy Eaton
Ellie Gibbons
Lucy Harris
Lucy Herdman
Hannah Howl
Nia Jones
Malysha Kelly
Liana Leota
Paige Reed
Georgia Rowe
Jane Taylor
Iman Thomas

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