Sasha Corbin excited about new Saracens Mavericks star and new season

Sasha Corbin of Saracens Mavericks

Sasha Corbin, captain of Netball Superleague side Saracens Mavericks. - Credit: SPORTSBEAT

Skipper Sasha Corbin has backed new signing Ine-Mari Venter to fire Saracens Mavericks to new heights in this year’s Netball Superleague.

South African international Venter will fill the shooting vacancy left by England’s George Fisher following her move to New Zealand to represent Southern Steel.

And the 25-year-old’s arrival in Hatfield has added to the excitement in the Mavs camp ahead of their season opening double header against Surrey Storm and league debutants Leeds Rhinos.

Corbin said: "I’m really looking forward to the journey with Ine-Mari. She’s so bubbly and exciting to play with and watch.

“She can hold well, she can jump and she gets the shots in. It’s great to have a tall, strong shooter in there, as George was for us, and I can’t wait to see how she gels in our team.

“She has already made an impact with some of the things she’s encouraging us to try and we have to know how she plays and work to her strengths.

“We are as ready as we can be as a squad. We know we won’t be the finished article at the start – we just want to get out there, see where we are at and push on."

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The Mavericks, based at the Hertfordshire Sports Village, have been disappointed to miss out on a top four spot in recent years and go into the new campaign with even more motivation to reach the post-season matches.

Having some talented youngsters in there helps too.

“Consistency will be key this year," said Corbin. "We’ll have to learn fast as we move so quickly from game to game.

“I am so inspired by Jodie Gibson’s journey back to the court after injury. We want to see her back doing what she does best: getting interceptions, jumping high and just being Jodie Gibson.

“Bella Baylis is a new face. She is a mid-court player who is fearless and works so hard. She’s only 17 so it’s amazing for her to come in and play at this level.

“Aliyah Zaranyika is another young defender who is super talented and intelligent. She has the ability to appear out of nowhere and take the ball before you’ve seen her coming.

“Having that competition in the squad has been great. We need to be on our toes and pushed, so to have these young guys doing that has been really good.”

This is Corbin’s tenth Vitality Netball Superleague season across three spells with Mavericks, who she represented in the inaugural campaign back in 2005/06.

This season, for the first time, every game will be streamed live as part of a landmark broadcast deal with Sky Sports and the 32-year-old is hoping such exposure will usher in a new audience.

“The visibility is really important,” said the 71-cap England international. “If it’s something that people have usually flicked past, hopefully this means they’ll sit down and watch it.

“The game is so physical, fast and competitive and it has evolved fantastically over the years, with new styles and tactics and real strength across the squads.

“We are all in this together, we all want to see netball being played. We are here to perform and we want to give anyone that watches the games something to be inspired by.”

The Vitality Netball Superleague returns on Friday and you can follow the action with all games being shown live on Sky Sports. Visit netballsl.com or follow @netballsl on Twitter and Instagram for more information.

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