Storm shocks keep coming, add Drakeford-Lewis

OFF the back of signing Layla Guscoth, Surrey Storm has landed another bombshell by signing English Roses shooter Sophie Drakeford-Lewis. The former Team Bath shooter followed Guscoth to the Storm in a signing that was announced yesterday. Drakeford-Lewis will likely fill the goal attack bib – though has the potential to roll into the wing attack position if required – teaming up with high-volume shooter Peace Proscovia.

Still only 23 years-old, Drakeford-Lewis was a member of England’s Commonwealth Games side and has been a prodigy shooter for the Roses for a number of years. With the strength in the goal circle for the Roses, Drakeford-Lewis expanded her versatility to include wing attack, having pulled on the red bib on 15 occasions. In joining the Storm, Drakeford-Lewis said she was ready for a fresh start.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be joining Surrey Storm,” Drakeford-Lewis said. “It’s a new chapter for me, a really exciting challenge and I can’t wait to join the rest of the girls and build on what was a great season for the squad last year. Bring on 2023!”

In joining Guscoth at the Storm, Drakeford-Lewis said it would be relieving for a familiar face at a new environment, making it a really exciting time.

“Obviously, it’s going to be a big change for me, having been at Bath for the last five seasons,” Drakeford-Lewis said. “To know I’m going into an environment with one of my really good friends in Layla, it’s quite settling.

“It’s really exciting that we can go in there and hopefully add to the group that has already been building over the last season. I’m excited to see what we can put together. Obviously, we’re aiming for finals and hopefully a shot at taking the title. Hopefully, we’ll put in the hard work during the pre-season, grow over the season and put ourselves in the best position to be making finals.” 

Storm head coach Mikki Austin – who will also be one of the players feeding Drakeford-Lewis in the circle – said it was an exciting time for the club to welcome such a high-upside talent into the program, following on from Guscoth’s signing the week before.

“I am thrilled to welcome Sophie into our Surrey Storm environment,” Austin said. “A deadly accurate GA with movement to burn, Sophie is proven world class in both the GA and WA both domestically and internationally for England Roses, who brings a phenomenal work ethic and determination into our group.

“I am extremely excited about the dynamic Sophie will bring to our group and the partnerships she can form.”

The Surrey Storm mid and shooting circle is looking incredibly strong, with Austin and Yasmin Brookes (nee Parsons) feeding into the circle of Drakeford-Lewis and Proscovia. Guscoth will headline a strong defensive unit, with a number of young guns coming through the program. After missing out on finals in 2022, Storm has acquired a couple of incredible players to put them right into contention for the coming year, particularly with a number of the top four sides losing similar quality.

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