VNSL 2022 Team Preview: Surrey Storm

LOSING a player of Karyn Bailey‘s quality is never easy, but Surrey Storm found just the replacement over the Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) off-season. Bailey announced her retirement ahead of her final game on June 21, with the goal shooter being a prolific goal shooter even in her 16th professional year. Having been named in multiple Diamonds squads many years ago, the 34-year-old made good on her preseason decision to retire at the end of the 2021 season.

Aside from Bailey’s retirement, the other two departures were that of midcourter Nicole Humphrys to Severn Stars, and fellow shooter Yasmin Hodge-England to Saracens Mavericks. The two major losses of Bailey and Humphrys were directly replaced by two equal talents in Peace Proscovia and Sophia Candappa.

Proscovia decided to head to the Storm fresh off a couple of years with Sunshine Coast Lightning – after previously playing with Loughborough Lightning – where she certainly managed to hold her own under the post. She can play the exact role Bailey did in close, whilst Candappa provides the midcourt versatility of Humphrys.

Aside from the pair of inclusions, the Storm also brought in a couple of young talents in 22-year-old Charlotte Curtis and 23-year-old Abigail Robson from Team Bath. Both will serve as training partners and defensive cover. They join Sophie Kelly who is a promising up-and-comer with the Storm, whilst coach Mikki Austin remains determined to provide youth with opportunities.

She will be a part of a strong midcourt that features Yasmin Parsons and Candappa, whilst Niamh Cooper has locked down the wing defence bib. Felisitus Kwangwa has provided rock solid defence for the Storm, whilst Leah Middleton, Alima Priest and Grace Sullivan are among the many options able to roll through the defensive goal circle. Up the other end, Emma Magee, Francesca Wells and Ellie Kelk round out the goaler options.


GK: Leah Middleton
GD: Felisitus Kwangwa
WD: Niamh Cooper
C: Mikki Austin
WA: Yasmin Parsons
GA: Emma Magee
GS: Peace Proscovia

The biggest question mark will be over the starting wing attack bib and whether or not it goes to Parsons or Candappa. For now we have opted to remain with the current holder in Parsons, though Austin has been known to start on the bench and coach from the sidelines as well, which would see Parsons move into the centre bib potentially. Most of the starting seven writes itself with the only main change of Proscovia coming in for Bailey.

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