29 October 2020

Wasps, Rhinos, Dragons, Mavericks, Lightning, Storm and Sirens add to 2021 VNSL squads

Wasps Netball have announced the re-signing of four-time Superleague champion Amy Flanagan ahead of the 2021 season.

The star made the switch from Surrey Storm to Wasps in 2017 and is set to enter her fifth season with the side. 

Speaking about her decision to stay, she said: "I am incredibly excited about the return of Superleague Netball, especially with the opportunity to play my 5th season in a Wasps dress!

"I am sure I wasn’t the only one disappointed by the abrupt end to the 2020 season and I am so grateful we are able to begin training as a squad again."

Elsewhere, centre court player Emily Hollingworth has signed for debut side Leeds Rhinos Netball. 

The 23 year-old joins from Superleague’s Loughborough Lightning.

She said: "It’s really exciting to be joining a new Superleague franchise in Yorkshire.  I think we have been missing Superleague netball in the county for a while now.  

"One of the big influences of joining the Rhinos was the squad that had been put together.  There is a mixture of young talent along with some experienced players that we have got coming in and that’s going to be great."

Meanwhile, Wales’ only professional side Celtic Dragons have signed Victoria Booth, who has spent the last three seasons as part of Saracens Mavericks’ age group squads. 

The Dragons’ head coach Tania Hoffman said: "I am really pleased to have Vicky join us this season. She has worked very hard throughout her time in the Mavs’ set-up and she brings the right attitude and work ethic for the Superleague environment.

"Vicky is one to watch this coming season and I know that she will learn a lot from our environment and from her team-mates here."

The Dragons have also signed Morganne Dunn in what will be her first season in the Superleague. 

The Welsh Under-21 shooter has featured in the Netball Europe tournaments.

She said: "I have loved playing netball ever since I was in primary school! From playing with Team Bath Under 19 to Severn Stars Under 21, I have always been excited about the potential to progress in my netball career.

"Now I’ve signed with Dragons, I am excited to take on new challenges and I can’t wait to develop my netball skills whilst also developing great relationships within the team."

Elsewhere, Saracens Mavericks have signed South African Proteas shooter Ine-Mari Venter.

She has previously played in the Suncorp Super Netball in Australia for both Melbourne Vixens and Queensland Firebirds.

Loughborough Lightning have added Vitality Rose Nat Panagarry to their 2021 squad. 

The 29 year-old has been with the side since 2015 and is ready to compete in another season. 

On her return, she said: "Last season was definitely a whirlwind and not the ideal situation I wanted to be in. I was really gutted that in the first five minutes of the opening game to get a fracture in my foot. It wasn’t the plan I wanted and then for the covid-19 outbreak to happen and the season end was certainly disappointing.

"I think for the team the target is to always push for that top-four spot, but to get in that final after the year that everyone’s had would be incredible."

Ellie Kelk has signed for Surrey Storm (PA)

Meanwhile, Surrey Storm have re-signed Ellie Kelk for another season in the VNSL. 

The 22 year-old shooter broke into the Storm squad during their clash against Manchester Thunder last season. 

Head coach Mikki Austin said: "Ellie has worked incredibly hard over her tenure at Storm to recover from an ACL injury and come back to fitness before the 2020 season was cut short.

"Ellie will be a key member of the squad for 2020 and as a committed athlete who is calm under pressure I have no doubt she will excel this season."

Austin has also signed Lauren Tait from Strathclyde Sirens, a player who featured as part of the Scotland squad in last year’s World Cup. 

Tait said: "I am absolutely elated to have signed with Surrey Storm.

"They are an amazing team and I am very excited to learn from the talented players and coaches!"

Strathclyde Sirens have added Emma Love to their 2021 side.

She represented Scotland at Under-17 level at Netball Europe in 2017 where the side won a silver medal.

She said: "Over the last couple of years I’ve been fortunate enough to train within the Strathclyde Sirens/Scottish Thistles training environment and I’m beyond excited to be given this opportunity. 

"I had a taster of the Strathclyde Sirens set up being a part of their new U21 squad last season, and I’m thrilled to be back this time as part of the 15 in the Vitality Netball Superleague squad."

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