VNSL 2020 team preview: Team Bath

WITH the 2020 season of the Vitality Netball Superleague now upon us, we take a look at each team heading into a massive year in Superleague netball. The next team in our season preview is Team Bath.

Coach: Anna Stembridge
2019 finish: 3rd (14-6)

Team Bath was another team that got so close but yet so far, collecting some stellar wins but falling at unexpected hurdles. A highly talented defensive team, Bath proved time and time again that a match is won off the back of a team effort, with all players across the court contributing to the pressure every match. They had some real moments of magic with some young guns stepping up to the plate while their a-listers flexed their muscles to get them over the line, but struggled with consistency and putting in four quarter performances. 

2020 predictions:

With Serena Guthrie no longer in the fray, Team Bath will really want to elevate their midcourt to back up the stellar defensive unit they have going for them and push to continue the defensive dominance they had in 2019. While they did not pick up a wealth of new players or lose too many, they will hope the core group continues the stellar form they had throughout last season to go one better this year. They will really need to bolster their defensive prowess through the midcourt and boost their consistency, with plenty of versatility out of the court and on the bench able to switch things up in a moments noticed. Kim Commane has been a solid contributor under the post credit to her strong holds and footwork while the development of Sophie Drakeford-Lewis will be something to keep an eye on throughout the season. The addition of Khanyisa Chawane will add that extra grunt through the midcourt with her defensive skill.

Key player: Imogen Allison (WD/C)

A young gun with plenty of unexplored talent up her sleeve, Imogen Allison proved she can compete with the best last season making the wing defence position her own and playing a similar role to Guthrie. With Guthrie gone now, Allison will need to step up to be that midcourt stronghold and maintain the defensive pressure across the court with her ability to read the play and pinpoint perfect timing. Allison uses her long arms and timing to advantage, making her a real tough player to come up against.

Team list:

Eboni Usoro-Brown
Rachel Shaw
Mia Ritchie
Imogen Allison
Abi Robson
Fionnuala Toner (London Pulse)
Kim Commane
Khanyisa Chawane (South Africa)
Sophie Drakeford-Lewis
Hannah Passmore
Summer Artman
Laura Rudland
Betsy Creak (Premier Romans)
Tash Pavelin
Rachel Fee

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