2021 VNSL Season preview: Team Bath

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. Next up is Team Bath who are renowned for their consistency on court and silky play.

Team Bath has long been a strong force in the VNSL playing host to a multitude of exciting and adaptable players. Having made finals the past couple of seasons they will be hoping to go one better and go all the way given the number of experienced players on their list and strong connections across the court.

2021 expectations/predictions:

Team Bath have well and truly bolstered their stocks in 2021 with England Roses defender Layla Guscoth joining the squad. Opting to return home after being a part of the Suncorp Super Netball and playing with Adelaide Thunderbirds, Guscoth offers a sense of reliability, consistency and hard work to outrun her opponent and subsequently pick up errant passes and propel the ball back down the court. In fact there is no shortage of options down in defence with Eboni Usoro-Brown returning and looking to impose her physical nature under the post while Summer Artman is a force to be reckoned with in both goal defence or goal keeper thanks to her long arms, intercepting ability and read of the play.

The midcourt is also littered with a number of big names with Serena Guthrie headlining the unit. Boasting nothing short of sheer athleticism, excitement and defensive pressure Guthrie is a real game changer that can turn heads in the blink of an eye whether she plays in centre or wing defence. Young gun partner in crime, Imogen Allison is another one to keep an eye out for with the midcourter renowned for her ability to put in the hard yards and create a strong defensive wall. Through attack it is hard to go past the services of Kim Borger who is a staple under the post thanks to her strong holds and impressive range to score accurately from wherever in the circle. Borger provides an element of consistency under the post able to keep the scoreboard ticking over and using her repertoire to keep defenders guessing as the likes of Hannah Passmore and Betsy Creak likely to rotate through the circle.

Player to watch:

Still young and with plenty of development left in her, Sophie Drakeford-Lewis is steadily building a name for herself as a smooth mover inside attack. the nimble attacker can float across the circle or change up her game entirely with her direct play into the circle and hard drives. She is a cool, calm and collected customer that thinks her way through the defensive blocks often relying on her fancy footwork to dodge opponents and break free. Drakeford-Lewis has proven herself over the past couple of international performances with her composed manner and will be hoping to add more strings to her bow throughout the VNSL season to elevate her game even further. She has the flexibility to rotate between wing attack and goal attack seamlessly using her dynamic movement, accuracy to post and overall netball nous to have an influence on the attacking flow for Bath.

Team list:

Imogen Allison
Summer Artman
Kim Borger
Betsy Creak
Charlotte Curtis
Sophie Drakeford-Lewis
Layla Guscoth
Serena Guthrie
Kirsty Harris
Hannah Passmore
Tash Pavelin
Abigail Robson
Jessica Shaw
Rachel Shaw
Eboni Usoro-Brown

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