Superleague Is Over, Bring on The Netball World Cup
May 20, 2019
The Netball World Cup is just around the corner, in 50 days the best teams from around the globe come together in Liverpool to find the world’s best.
The teams compete over the space of nine days to be crowned World Champion. Can England get double glory after the Commonwealths or will the world number one, Australia, seek revenge on English turf?
We round up where the England team is now, injuries and how they are looking ahead of a challenging summer. The official announcement for the 12-woman team will be on Thursday 23rd May, but we look at the full squad who are all hoping to be in with a chance of selection.
First, we head across the pond to Australia where several Roses are in the middle of their regular season.
First up, an ACL tear for Beth Cobden leaves her missing the remainder of the season and puts her out of contention of being included in the World Cup. Unfortunately, Cobden will require surgery to help with the recovery of her injury. Tracey Neville, England Head Coach said “Beth is an exceptional athlete and her contribution to our team over the last four years has been influential in the success of the Roses. To miss out on her first opportunity to go to a World Cup is devastating and we will do everything we can to ensure she is back on court soon.” After recovery, Cobden is sure to have a solid future with the Roses as a young and talented player.
Helen Housby and Natalie Haythornewaite suffered their first defeat of the season over the weekend but are in peak condition ahead of the summer. On average Housby has had 86% shooting success, averaging 20 goals a match. Hoping to relive the final second buzzer beater of the Commonwealths, Housby is an almost certain for the 12 woman squad.
Over at Giants Netball, Jo Hartens team are sat mid-table with two wins and two losses to their name. Harten is averaging 75% shooting success for the season, combine this with the likes of Housby and the Roses are looking in good shape ahead of the Netball World Cup.
Layla Guscoth and Chelsea Pitman are still fighting strong for Adelaide Thunderbirds with Cobden out for the remainder of the season. The girls are co-captains of the Thunderbirds team and with only one win behind them for the season they may not reciprocate league success with their desired success on the International stage.
Defensive specialist Geva Mentor is the last of the England hopefuls over in Australia. Mentor is having a storming season sitting second in the ranks for most deflections, third for defensive rebounds and fourth for most intercepts. Looking a likely hopeful for a summer with the Roses. Neville is bound to have her eye on Mentors successes of the season as a World Cup hopeful.
Back in England now with the latest news that England captain from the Commonwealth Winning side, Ama Agbeze, will not be selected for the World Cup after an injury strung season. ‘Disappointed’ and ‘frustrated’ to be left of the squad, the 36 year old is ‘determined to not let this be the end of my England career’ the Roses will now have to pull together for their new captain that Neville will announce in the following weeks.
Saracens Mavericks just missed out on play off this year despite having our England Internationals in their team, Kadeen Corbin, Sasha Corbin, George Fisher and Gabriella Marshall all battled to take their team into the final four but fell just short. However strong performances across the board will keep Neville thinking about their inclusion this summer.
Iona Darroch and Jodie Gibson had a mid-table finish this season at Severn Stars in their second season in the Superleague. A strong start to their inclusion in the league, the girls were have had vital roles in ensuring their every success this season. Watch this space for a new up and coming team.
The third and fourth place play-off took place between Loughborough Lightning and Team Bath. Natalie Panagarry and Ella Clarke lead Lightning while Summer Artman and superstar Serena Guthrie took confidence into the match to secure a third-place finish for Bath in the 2019 season.
The Superleague Final was a tight affair between Wasps and Manchester Thunder. Wasps, were favourite to win their third title as reigning champions and looked in full control with a six-goal lead in the first quarter, and going into the final quarter the same again. Jade Clarke, the most capped England player of all time and super defensive star Francesca Williams lead the team with a strong confident determination.
However, Thunder had other ideas, Eleanor Cardwell came on as an injury sub and had 100% shooting efficiency taking the title home to Manchester. With nerves of steel and an impact player from the bench, Cardwell is an underdog favourite to feature in Liverpool this summer.
The two injuries this season, Cobden and Agbeze are a tough loss to the England Roses squad ahead of the World Cup this summer. Yet, England Netball have strong depth in their squad, allowing Neville to field a World Championship contesting team this summer.
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Author: Beth Gunter
Beth has a First Class Degree in Sports Journalism from the University of East London, and has done work experience for Leyton Orient Football Club, Dagenham and Redbridge and filmed for BT Sport. She currently volunteers with Volleyball England at major events and is based in Southampton.