2023 NSL Season Preview: Celtic Dragons

THE 2023 Netball Super League (NSL) season is just around the corner, and clubs and fans alike are gearing up for another exciting season.

After an eventful off season the 10 NSL clubs are ready to go for another year, and to prepare for the season we here at Rookie Me Central are going to go around the league and take a look at where each of the clubs sit ahead of the new season.

In this preview we are off to Wales to check in with the Celtic Dragons.

2022 was one of those seasons that those involved at Celtic would probably rather bury in the deep recesses of history.

They only got the three wins on the board for the season (two against Severn and one against Leeds), and with a poor goal difference the found themselves in the penultimate spot on the ladder.

But the last thing Celtic or its fans want to be reminded of is a season like that, so let us take a look at where the team is sitting heading into 2023.

There are a few new faces in the on court line up for the Dragons in 2023.

In the shooting department, there is a mix of old faces, new faces and returning faces, with three Welsh stars and one Aussie set to drive scoring north this season.

The only returning shooter from the Dragons’ 2022 side is Georgia Rowe, who is going around again after an impressive 2022 season which saw her finish in the top ten goal scorers in the league.

Chelsea Beard (nee Lewis) is back in the Dragons’ line up after a few seasons away, while former Loughborough Lightning Pathway member Zoe Matthewman has also signed with the Dragons.

The final member of the Dragons’ shooting quartet is Gabby Sinclair, who has come halfway around the world from Australia to join the Welsh side. She proved to be a handy member of Collingwood’s Suncorp Super Netball line up in 2022 but will be looking for more consistent game time this season.

Unlike the shooting foursome, the midcourters are all returning faces, with Shona O’Dwyer, Laura Rudland, Hannah Leighton and Clare Jones all pulling on the Dragons’ dress again in 2023.

The defensive unit is largely the same as 2022, but injury has meant a new face has entered the picture for the Dragons this season.

English duo Annabel Roddy and Ally Housley and Trinidadian Commonwealth Games star Shaquanda Greene-Noel will be joined by new face Ella Powell-Davies. The Welshwoman replaces Leila Thomas, who was originally meant to play for the Dragons this season but got injured.

Of course with the introduction of new players there has to be departures to go with them.

Nia Jones has left the Dragons to head across to Leeds, while Kat Short is stepping away from the NSL to pursue her career as a doctor. Lefébre Rademan will also not be playing this season after she suffered an ACL injury, but will stick around the larger Dragons’ group.

Celtic Dragons Squad 2023

Shooters – Georgia Rowe, Chelsea Beard, Zoe Matthewman and Gabby Sinclair

Midcourters – Shona O’Dwyer, Laura Rudland, Hannah Leighton and Clare Jones

Defenders – Annabel Roddy, Ally Housley, Ella Powell-Davies and Shaquanda Greene-Noel

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