VNSL 2022 Team Preview: Severn Stars

DESPITE having the majority of their list re-sign, the Severn Stars lineup will still feature a number of fresh faces in 2022. The Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) side recruited four players from opposing teams in a bid to improve their ninth placed finish from 2021. The Stars won four out of 20 games had suffered a heavy negative goal difference (220), conceding the second most goals behind wooden spooners Celtic Dragons, whilst scoring the ninth most goals.

Running through the Stars’ departures first, Nia Jones and Georgia Rowe have both headed to Wales to play for the Dragons. Rowe shot 393 goals in her 16 appearances for the club last season after 151 in four the year before. Standing at 195cm, Rowe will certainly be missed, whilst Jones was best known for her work up the other end of the court. Ellie Gibbons has also decided to leave the club, heading to Wasps for more opportunities.

Three others are also on the departing list with Jamaican defender Malysha Kelly, versatile midcourter Lucy Harris and teenager Hannah Howl all among those gone from the club. Whilst Howl only managed the four games Harris and Kelly both became valuable contributors throughout the season.

Of the six players to have departed, they almost make up a starting lineup, so it was up to the Stars to find depth across multiple positions. One of the brightest young talents coming through the Roses pathway in Summer Artman made the switch from Team Bath, able to have more court time with the Stars. Alongside the youth of Artman, the Stars picked up experience in midcourters Michelle Drayne (London Pulse) and Nicole Humphrys (Surrey Storm).

They also managed to fill the shooting void by selecting Katie Harris (Wasps), with the 27-year-old also able to play more of a role at the Stars. But the biggest name of the off-season was the inclusion of Cathrine Tuivaiti who played an off-field role for the Stars in 2021, but will now play on the court in the shooter position. It means the front half of the court will be super experienced with Liana Leota another international representative in the Stars’ side.

Outside that experience they have the likes of Paige Reed who made the goal attack bib her own last season, and Jane Taylor and Issy Eaton as developing shooters. Up the other end, Adi Bolakoro and Lucy Herdman showed plenty together last season, whilst Iman Thomas returns again. Through the midcourt, Bethan Dyke, Chloe Carchrie and Elisha New round out the squad, the latter two as training partners.


GK: Lucy Herdman
GD: Iman Thomas
WD: Nicole Humphrys
C: Michelle Drayne
WA: Liana Leota
GA: Paige Reid
GS: Cathrine Tuivaiti

Expect the Stars to be able to be verstaile with their lineup given the likes of Artman, Bolakoro and Harris remain on the bench. Though Harris might get the start over Reed, we have opted to keep the status quo from last season at this point. Drayne and Humphreys come into the midcourt, whilst Herdman and Thomas maintain their spots in the defensive goal circle, but Artman should aim to force her way in at some stage.

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