2024 Netball Super League Preview – Saracens Mavericks
THE 2024 Netball Super League season is almost upon us, and to celebrate the build up to the season, Rookie Me Central will be previewing each of the 10 competing teams and seeing how this year might unfold for them.
Week two of this series begins with a look at the Saracens Mavericks.
Last year was a so close yet so far season for the Saracens Mavericks.
The North Londoners finished one place outside the finals, but the fact that they were five win behind the side in fourth and also the goal difference gap was significant, the gap in reality was much larger than simply one ladder place.
But, the goal for those in red and black this season is to begin to bridge the gap between them and that top four and if not make finals this year, set themselves up to do so in the next few years.
The defence end is largely the same as what took the court in 2023. Christina Shaw and Monique Meyer come out of the side, but are replaced by former Rhino Vicki Oyesola and rising young Englishwoman Peace Akinyemi, with the latter making a return after a year away.
Oyesola will be particularly interesting to watch this season. She is coming off the back of a red hot season last year and is on the rise in the English Roses system, but will have stiff competition from Razia Quashie and Jodie Gibson for on court time.
The midcourt is the area that has seen the biggest number of offseason changes for the Mavericks.
Aliyah Zaranyika is still around, but Lisa Mather, Beth Ecuyer-Dale and Sasha Corbin have all left the club and were replaced by Ellie Rattu, Indya Masser and Georgia Lees, with Lees having earned a full contract a after being named as an additional training partner last season.
Rattu is someone who will also be an interesting one to watch in 2024. She is just starting to make her way up the Roses system and start to get the international call up more regularly, so will be looking for plenty of game time this season to keep that momentum going.
The shooting end has seen very little change from what it looked like in 2023.
Ellie Kelk has departed, but was getting very little game time anyway. Her replacement Emma Thacker finds herself in an interesting position though, going from a starting goal attack role at the title winning Loughborough Lightning, to having to fight Kira Rothwell for a starting spot.
It will also be interesting to see how much court time Ine-Mari Venter and Britney Clarke each get this season, with the pair seemingly used interchangeable particularly in the back end of last season.
Saracens Mavericks 2024 Squad
Peace Akinyemi, Razia Quashie, Jodie Gibson, Vicki Oyesola, Aliyah Zaranyika, Ellie Rattu, Indya Masser, Georgia Lees, Kira Rothwell, Emma Thacker, Ine-Mari Venter and Britney Clarke
Training Partners: Charlotte Dunkley and Anna Fairclough