VNSL 2022 Team Preview: Saracens Mavericks

MISSING out on the 2021 Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) finals series by just two points last season, Saracens Mavericks will be one determined side in 2022. The Mavericks won 11 games and drew one in their 20 matches, only marginally falling short of Leeds Rhinos, and finishing fifth overall. Though still someway off the top three (who all registered 17 wins last season), the Mavericks showed they were right in finals contention.

Their recent results at the Rise Again Festival – where they finished fourth overall after going down to Strathcylde Sirens in the semi-finals – suggests they are going to be thereabouts once again. The Mavericks lost veteran defender Jo Trip to retirement, as well as rotation options Stephanie Collard and Dani McFarlane departing. From an inclusions perspective, the Mavericks have kept pretty much an identical lineup to their 2021 list, with Yasmin Hodge-England coming across from Surrey Storm to be a training partner.

The Mavericks’ strength is in their front third, with their top-end talent and depth regularly putting big scores on the board. South African international and former Super Netball representative Ine-Mari Venter was able to come in and impact throughout her first season, and she teamed up well with Kadeen Corbin and Sasha Corbin in that front third. Coming off the bench into the circle at times, Chloe Essam and Britney Clarke provided some strong depth as well. Hodge-England adds further depth to this third of the court.

Despite the loss to Trip to retirement, the Mavericks have an incredibly gifted defensive goal circle, with Razia Quashie set to take the reins alongside Jodie Gibson. One interesting talking point will be the inclusion of Jameela McCarthy who could play as a circle defender, allowing Gibson to play at wing defence. The Mavericks also have the likes of Aliyah Zaranyika and who can also provide depth in back half of the court.

In the middle third of the court, Gabriella Marshall (who could easily continue starting wing defence as she did last season), Georgia Lees and Beth Ecuyer-Dale are crucial cogs to assist Sasha Corbin. They will also have Bella Bayliss (training partner) as another midcourt option for the centre or wing attack bib. Though the greatest depth is in the front court, the Mavericks are known for giving youth a crack throughout the season.


GS: Ine-Mari Venter
GA: Kadeen Corbin
WA: Sasha Corbin
C: Beth Ecuyer-Dale
WD: Gabriella Marshall
GD: Jodie Gibson
GK: Razia Quashie

The Mavericks have a very versatile squad, and the inclusion of McCarthy – who is capped at international level for Trinidad and Tobago – will allow great versatility in defence. From a majority perspective, Marshall was locked in at wing defence though can play any of the three positions, much like Ecuyer-Dale. Sasha Corbin could roll back to centre and allow someone like a Lees off the bench to slot into wing attack, whilst McCarthy enables the defence to shuffle up the court. Overall the Mavericks have a flexible squad that is capable of having many different looks.

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