Herts Mavericks set for netball's Super Saturday
PUBLISHED: 12:04 30 December 2015 | UPDATED: 12:07 30 December 2015
There is a month to go until Hatfield-based Hertfordshire Mavericks begin their 2016 Netball Super League campaign.
This season all eight teams will play on Saturday, January 30 at the Genting Arena, Birmingham in a term curtain-raising event televised on Sky Sports dubbed ‘Super Saturday’.
Mavericks head coach Sam Bird told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “It’s a good idea, I believe they have sold over 6,000 tickets for Super Saturday.
“We’re the first game on [against Celtic Dragons] so whether there will be 6,000 people when we’re there [I don’t know] as it’s a whole day thing.”
Mavericks, who play home games at the Herts Sports Village, were runners-up in 2015 as they lost to Surrey Storm in the play-off final at the Copper Box Arena.
Bird has added the likes of experienced New Zealander Joline Johansson (nee Henry), Trinidad & Tobago star Sammy Wallace and England’s Ella Clark to her squad and is aiming to go one better this year.
“I’m really confident,” said Bird.
“It’s the consistency that we need, we didn’t have that last year, the players we have got are right up there.”
Of the sport and the Netball Superleague, she added: “It is certainly taking off, they never struggle to sell tickets now.
“We have still got the same issue that we could play at a bigger venue, we sell out all the time, it’s just the way the game is developing and we have got a really good genuine fan base now and it’s good.
“Super Saturday will be great, it will be covered on Sky all day. They run a weekly news slot for netball as well, it’s all going in the right direction.”
Bird fully expects Loughborough Lightning, who have signed Mavericks duo Sasha and Kadeen Corbin, Manchester Thunder and Storm to push her side all the way.
“Loughborough look very strong as they have attracted a lot of England players, some of my players, but also players from elsewhere.
“Thunder will be good and Storm, they have not really made any changes, but they are a good team, they know each other inside out.”