09 March 2020

England netball coach Jess Thirlby praises Superleague, saying the sport is in a really healthy place

England netball head coach Jess Thirlby has praised Vitality Superleague teams as the 2020 season gets underway. 

Thirlby who previously coached at Team Bath are currently top of the table ahead of defending champions Manchester Thunder

"The intent that teams have shown, being brave and putting themselves out there, has been excellent," she told Sky Sports.

"Like Saracens Mavericks saying that they won't be coming fifth again and sharing their want to win the competition.

"I love all of the stories behind the league, hopefully it will keep driving the attention and help the sport."

She also believes that the sport is in a "healthy place" with several Roses Under-21 players being involved in the top Superleague teams.

Roses youngsters who are making an impression on the court include Funmi Fadoju and Jasmin Odeogberin for London Pulse, and Alice Harvey for Loughborough Lightning.

"The Roses player group is a pretty dynamic player group and you've seen some of the young talent out in Superleague too.

"I'm not saying that all of that [the young talent] is ready now but it's a really healthy place to be.

"There are also players who were at the World Cup, who have yet to return to the programme but are very much looking forward to doing that.

"They'll be joining those who have fronted up on the national scene recently and with those young players underneath it. The sport is in a really healthy place," she added. 

Round three will continue this evening as London Pulse take on Celtic Dragons at 6.45pm at the Copper Box Arena. 

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox