NSL Player Focus: Jade Clarke (London Pulse)

THIS past weekend was a positive one for the London Pulse, with the Londoners winning both their Round 2 battle with Bath, and their Round 3 clash against Severn.

One of the stars of that Round 2 win was English veteran Jade Clarke, who finished with 10 feeds, a defensive rebound and an intercept in the win.

In her first season at the London Pulse having crossed from Leeds in the offseason, Clarke is already showing how much of a valuable addition she has been as her new side looks to bridge the gap to the top two teams this season.

In our latest Player Focus, we take a closer look at Clarke’s game and what makes her so good at what she does.

Clarke took the very first centre pass of the game against Bath, and instantly ran diagonally away from where she delivered the ball to create that space for her team.

This is something she continued to do throughout the game as she often liked to present as the one Pulse player creating space on the opposite, open side of the court.

She is also quite a communicator, with it being clear to anyone watching that she is an on-court leader who helps her team through direction.

She is also not afraid to look behind her when taking the centre pass, utilising the goal defence and wing defence if she feels they are the most free option to pass to.

Clarke also showed during the first quarter how good her composure is, when she was able to balance on one leg on the edge of court and throw the ball to a team mate without losing her footing or conceding the footwork call.

There was another showcase of Clarke’s light footwork later in the term when she had almost lay-up esque moment, as she danced he way to getting the ball to Olivia Tchine in the circle – not for the last time in the game.

Like any good centre, one thing Clarke is not afraid to do is run up and back in attack, always trying to find the space and be the best option for her team without crowding her team mates.

When defending a centre pass Clarke also changes up which player she defends, whether it be the goal attack or wing attack, which keeps the opposition on their toes and makes it harder for them to make a strategy to counter that because there is less predictability.

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