Wednesday, 23 August 2017
The Severn Stars netball team will welcome new faces alongside some familiar ones to its squad for the inaugural British Fast5 All-Stars Championship.
The side will take on some of the UK’s best netball teams in next month’s showcase event designed to bring netball to the masses.
Run by the Barry Hearn led promotional company Matchroom Sport, which has delivered world class sporting events to raise the profile of boxing, darts and snooker, the Championship will take place at The O2 in London, when Superleague teams will battle it out in a series of matches that shake up the traditional netball format.
Joining the Stars' squad for the tournament are South Africa’s Phumza Maweni, who plays for KZN Kingdom Stars, and Maryka Holtzhausen, who plays for Free State, both in the South African Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League.
Another new face joining the Stars’ Fast5 squad is Rosie Allison, who played for Team Bath from 2008 to 2014, including their title-winning side in 2013.
The 26-year-old goal shooter/goal attack has also played for England Roses from junior to senior level, taking part in two World Youth Championships.
Eleanor Cardwell and Jodie Gibson, who have just been selected for the England Roses’ 2017/18 season, along with England Under 21 player, Iona Darroch, who all played for Stars last season, will be back in action as part of the Stars’ Fast5 squad.
Also returning to the squad for the tournament are Laura Malcolm, Becky Oatley, Sophie Carter and Clare Elsley.
Sam Bird, Stars’ new Head Coach, said: “I am looking forward to working with this fantastic squad in the Fast5 series. It will be the first time many of them have played this format of netball in competition and represents an exciting challenge for us all.”
Severn Stars, which is a joint franchise between the University of Worcester and the University of Gloucestershire, compete in the brand new event on Saturday, September 23.
The Championship will see eight five-player sides competing in a double elimination group stage for a spot in the semi-finals, with the eventual winners taking home £25,000.
Innovations that will shake up the standard netball game at the All-Stars Championship include a double-point Power Play, 5-point line and 12-minute matches, and allows teams to include two global All-Star players in their squad.