By Sam O' Donnell - England Netball
With a brand new season on the horizon, it’s time to raise the curtain on the new-look 2017 Vitality Netball Superleague fixtures.
This season will see ten teams battle it out to be crowned the champions, with three new teams added to the mix. We welcome Severn Stars, Sirens and Wasps Netball for 2017 and we’ve already experienced the excitement surrounding these squads. It’s not only these teams that we’re seeing for the first time though, the off-season movement has meant all squads are championing fresh faces with bags of talent. The 2016 season saw a growth of 89% in television viewers and more Superleague fixtures than ever before were played out to sell-out crowds. So in case you were left in any doubt, this season is set to be the biggest and most exciting yet with teams hosting matches at larger venues and even more fixtures for fans to attend. Manchester Thunder and Loughborough Lightning are just two of the sides taking their games to larger venues to open the door for more supporters to watch the top level of domestic netball in the country. Surrey Storm will once again be hosting London Live at the Copper Box Arena on Saturday 11 March, with the fascinating rivalry to be rekindled in the reverse fixture at Hertfordshire Mavericks on Saturday 29 April.
Fast forward to Round 5, and a brand new rivalry will begin between Severn Stars and Wasps Netball, as former team mates Pamela Cookey and Tamsin Greenway face off with their new teams. Not only are these match-ups highly anticipated, but this season is an incredible opportunity for teams to showcase the bundles of youthful English talent they possess – Team Northumbria have six young England players among their ranks who are sure to shine in 2017. 2017’s version of last year’s incredibly successful ‘Super Saturday’ will be ‘Super Ten’ on Saturday 25 February where fans will be treated to seeing all ten teams in action under Birmingham’s Genting Arena roof. Here we will find the first opportunity to see teams from Scotland and Wales compete against each other as Sirens take on Celtic Dragons in the second fixture of the day.
The final match will see Mavericks take on Team Bath, and we all remember the thrilling final game Bath gave us at Super Saturday! It’s set to be a fantastic event. Ticket details for this amazing action-packed day will be released shortly.
You can find all the 2017 squad details on the VNSL website along with all of the fixture details.